Triple alum seeks to merge education with entrepreneurship

When Andre Leon Finney took the stage as doctoral commencement speaker, he became one of an elite group of CUC triple degree holders. Finney earned a BS in elementary education with middle school endorsements in 2016, followed by a Master of Business Administration in 2018, then a Doctor of Business Administration in 2022.

Finney completed his doctorate while holding a full-time position as a seventh- and eighth-grade math teacher at the Jesse White Learning Academy in Hazel Crest. “Time management was my largest obstacle,” he remembers. “Many nights I stayed up late to grade papers, lesson plan, prepare coaching strategies, fulfill committee obligations, complete assignments and revise my dissertation.”

Andre entered CUC as an undergraduate, attracted by the University’s highly regarded College of Education and team sports. He played right midfield on the soccer team as a freshman, ran cross country as a sophomore, and returned to the soccer pitch during senior year as goalkeeper.

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Andre Finney (right) BS ’16, MBA ’18, DBA ’22
Hazel Crest, IL

With two graduate business degrees, Finney is poised to combine entrepreneurial ambition with his proven skills as a classroom educator. He’s developing a business plan for an after-school and summer outreach program for middle school youth. “I hope to inspire children and enhance their academic experience toward becoming complete and confident individuals by helping them develop an affinity for fitness, literacy, language arts and mathematics.”

Looking back, Finney credits his CUC experience with transmitting the importance of competence, faith through works, teaching, finance, leadership and small business sustainability.

“Being a servant leader guided me to pursue higher education,” Andre notes. “God placed me at Concordia-Chicago to challenge my academic threshold. Through Him, I was able to attain the highest academic degree there is.”