The mission of the BB&T Center for the Study of Capitalism is to encourage the study and examination of the nature and effects of capitalism.


Our larger purpose is to encourage the study of the political, economic, and cultural institutions that lead to humane and just societies. Wake Forest University’s motto is Pro Humanitate, “in the service of humanity.” In keeping with that motto, and cognizant of the Center’s home in the School of Business, the Center seeks to foster an intellectual community dedicated to understanding the role that business and capitalism play in the creation of a peaceful and prosperous society. We aim to develop, encourage, and provide teaching at both the undergraduate and graduate levels; to support and produce cutting-edge interdisciplinary research; and to become the leading academic home for rigorous and substantive investigation and discussion of the nexus of business, capitalism, and political economy. The Center encourages students in every program in the Business School to think seriously about not only what they are doing, but why, and to understand the crucial contribution they themselves can and must make to human prosperity.

Programs and Activities

The Center provides a robust and encouraging intellectual community that supports investigation into the theory and practice of capitalism, business, and human prosperity. The experience and opportunity available through the Center aims to contribute to our understanding of what capitalism has been, is, and can be; what its central challenges and shortcomings are; and how we can contribute to generating and maintaining the political, economic, and moral institutions required for peaceful, prosperous, and humane life.

The Center offers both curricular and research programs:

Our curricular activities are driven by our proprietary educational model called “Why Business?”™. The Center integrates this model into all aspects of the School of Business’s curricula, complementing students’ training in the how of business with the why of business. What is the moral purpose that honorable business can, and should, serve?

The Center and its partners extend thought leadership on a global stage, establishing the Wake Forest University School of Business as the premier source for knowledge and programs in the study of capitalism. It aspires to become the place for students, faculty, media, and policy makers who wish to understand both the nature of capitalism and the role it can play in a society of flourishing, free, responsible, productive, and moral citizens.