The physical construction of the new College of Business Administration’s building complex is moving along briskly, as is the continued effort to raise funds for the multi-phase Building for Business Campaign, whose components include:
- the Building Complex Fund;
- the Growth and Excellence Fund, which seeks to increase annual giving for special programs and initiatives; and
- the Securing Our Future Fund, which will build endowments to support faculty and programs and includes the Scholarship Fund.
Construction shows daily progress.
“Construction on our new building school complex finally got underway in March, 2006,” said Executive Dean Joyce J. Elam, who along with Chapman School Dean José de la Torre, is investing time to make sure that events unfold smoothly. “Since that time, progress has been amazing. It’s exciting to come in each day and see more and more of the building taking shape.”
“The foundations of Commons Hall and Student Hall are completed for the most part and the first walls already are going up for Student Hall,” said Fernando Irizarri, coordinator of the college’s facilities. “The expected time for completion—including Academic, Commons, and Student Halls—is September, 2007.”
According to Irizarri, “The possibility of hurricanes and much rain—two factors that can delay the project depending on their severity—is keeping pressure on the construction schedule.”
“Bizcam” brings real-time images to computers everywhere.
The college has installed “Bizcam,” a fascinating technology that turns any computer into a window from which to watch the daily progress of the construction.
Originally, Annabelle Rojas (MBA ’98, BBA ’87) director of external relations and resource development, had planned to document the progress of the construction with photographs taken weekly from the roof of the Ryder Building.
“We soon discovered that the route to the roof was not an easy one, requiring going through special doors and scaling a ladder-like fire escape situated within the building,” Rojas said. “In addition, permission and keys would be needed, making logistics time-consuming.”
With input from the college’s Technology Center, in particular from Director Manoel Oliveira, a more feasible idea began to take shape. The result was the installation of a solar-powered web cam—known as “Bizcam”—atop the Ryder Building.
“It’s a nice way for people to participate—to see how the effort and capital being put together for the dream of the Building for Business Campaign are being converted into reality,” Irizarri said. “It enables us to share our happiness at the fact that the building is being constructed and will give donors and other supporters the opportunity to see the progress we are making.”
Gifts support efforts beyond bricks and mortar.
In parallel to the physical growth of the buildings, fundraising efforts continue with every donation securing an equal match from the State of Florida. To date, major gifts have reached nearly $10 million, approximately $100,000 of which is from students, faculty, staff, and alumni for the Wall of Stars campaign.
Among the many donors have been faculty members who have contributed generously to this first-ever initiative to raise money from within the college.
For example, Dinesh Batra, professor, Department of Decision Sciences and Information Systems, felt there were many reasons to support the fundraising.
“We have a caring work environment; an innovative dean; hard-working students; wonderful colleagues; a vibrant, diverse community; a city that is on the road to progress; and a university that has grown from four buildings when I arrived in 1989 to one with state-of-the-art facilities,” he said. “The college is always there when I need it—just like a family. So why not give?”