When the Ernst & Young Student Learning Lab was dedicated, it meant a great deal to many constituencies of the college: a group of alumni, their firm, current and future business students, and the business school’s faculty, administration and staff.
The generosity of alumni Alvaro R. Florez (BBA ’88), Ricardo Gonzalez (BBA ’95), James C. Kaufman (MA ’92), Tim P. LaMacchia (BBA ’85), Jose M. Martinez (MACC ’96, BACC ’93), Hector Tundidor Jr. (BACC ’92) and honorary alumnus Oscar Suarez, combined with the generosity of the firm and a state match, resulted in a $150K donation to the Florida International University Foundation, Inc.
“We wanted to be part of the groundwork that the college is laying and continue laying it for others,” Suarez said. “Others have done this for us, and through our success, we want to help others be successful. We also believed that even in tough times, people can give.”
Tundidor agreed, noting, “We are living at a time when lots of people are asking for support, but money is limited. What better way than to help my alma mater, which in turn will help future generations be successful.”
The donors wanted the named space to be a place “where people can concentrate and collaborate with others,” according to Suarez, and the Student Learning Lab fulfills that objective.
Gaining commitment turned out to be easy.
“There wasn’t a lot of arm twisting—not on the part of the individuals or the firm,” Tundidor said. “It was something we wanted to be part of.”
According to Annabelle Rojas (MBA ’98, BBA ’87), assistant dean, advancement, alumni and corporate relations, “One of the most important aspects of this gift is that it was led by alumni who came forward and pledged their support. We’ll be focusing on alumni in our next campaign, and the alumni from Ernst & Young have set a wonderful example and established a high bar for other alumni donors.”
The dedication took place on February 13, 2009.