Donning hard hats and bearing golden shovels at the Ground Breaking Ceremony on November 18, 2005, from left, Chapman Graduate School Dean José de la Torre, Regions Bank President Angel Medina, Jr., Board of Trustees member and donor R. Kirk Landon, Ocean Bank President José Concepción, Florida International University President Modesto Maidique, College of Business Administration Executive Dean Joyce J. Elam, Landon Undergraduate School Dean Clifford R. Perry, Faculty Senate Chair Bruce Hauptli, Florida International University Academic Provost Mark Rosenberg, College of Business Administration Assistant Dean Lynda Raheem, and School of Accounting faculty member John Wrieden.
Overcast skies, cool temperatures, and rain did not dampen the spirits of the students, faculty, staff, alumni, College of Business Administration leaders, friends, architects, and donors who signed concrete blocks for the foundation and joined in breaking ground for the College’s new business building complex on November 18, 2005.
The event marked the first tangible manifestation of a dream long in the making and a milestone in the College’s evolution towards becoming one of the top public, urban business schools in the country.
“When I became Executive Dean eight years ago, the College developed a vision to become one of the best public business schools in any urban area in America and a mission to prepare our students to be the business, civic, and political leaders in this community,” Joyce J. Elam said. “And we’ve been blessed by having terrific support both from within and outside the University in our quest to achieve both.
Elam cited the recognition the College has received from U.S. News & World Report, BusinessWeek, Hispanic Business, América Economía, among others, for its innovative international business programs.
“We have a world-class faculty comparable to that of any highly-regarded business school in the world, and Fortune 500 companies now routinely visit our campus to recruit our business students,” she said.
But the College has faced a major obstacle in realizing its vision: it has had no place to call home.
“For years, our students have had to take classes across our campuses; our administrative offices are scattered in several buildings around the University, and our business students have no place to gather, interact, and claim as their own,” Elam said. “Today, we are celebrating the beginning of the construction of that home—which we expect to be completed in 2007.”
“It’s clear to me that this College is one of the country’s leading business schools, and I’m delighted to be supporting the future business leaders of South Florida, the Americas, and the world who are earning their degrees here,” said Board of Trustees member and donor R. Kirk Landon at the historic occasion.
“What this community most needs and wants is a world-class business school,” President Modesto Maidique told the audience. “This message has been reiterated to me countless times by civic and business leaders who know that a premier business school is vital to the economic prosperity of our region. The majority of the College’s graduates live and work here, and many of them start new businesses that provide employment opportunities for others and stimulate economic innovation.”
He added that the College, in many ways, “is the flagship of our University’s reputation and of our contribution to South Florida’s future.”
To date, $9.5M of the $15M needed for the building complex has been raised. Numerous naming opportunities continue to exist to recognize additional donations. To learn more about how you can support the College, contact Annabelle Rojas, director of external relations and resource development, at 305-348-3339 or visit our web site at http://cba.fiu.edu.