|Dean Howard Finch thanks Gary Cooney for his pledge for the new building|
Dear Alumni and Friends of the Brock School of Business
I can hardly believe that Spring Commencement is this Friday, May 17, for the Brock School of Business. This academic year, and especially spring semester, seems to have flown by. It has been an exciting one here at Samford, and I am pleased to have this opportunity to recap for you some of the many highlights.
First, I hope you have heard by now the thrilling news concerning the transformational gift by one of our own alumni, Gary Cooney, to help make the dream of a new Brock School of Business building a reality (see the story below, and be sure to watch the moving video). Gary announced a $12.5 million pledge at our spring Samford Business Network meeting in Birmingham. Our plan is to break ground after the first of next year, with a target of opening the new building by fall 2015. We are building on the excitement and momentum generated by this gift by seeking room sponsorships within the building. If you would like to consider a naming opportunity for yourself, your family or firm, please go to our website at www.samford.edu/business and click on the building button on the right. Then, click the architect's plans to see the layout and room sponsorships. I would welcome the opportunity to discuss how you can become part of this perpetual legacy to excellence in Christian business education.
Three of our students who graduate this week were honored with University awards for excellence; Meredith Toering won the Gail Hyle Memorial Award as the woman in the graduating class who best exemplifies Christian character, leadership, school spirit and service. She also was a co-winner of the Service Award as a senior who best exemplifies the highest qualities of social service. Cameron Collins received the John R. Mott Award as the man in the graduating class who best represents high character, scholarship and student public service. He also received a Rufus W. Shelton Award as this year's male student who has done the most for the betterment of life at Samford through sustained efforts, and the Omicron Delta Kappa Leader of the Year Award as the member of the leadership honor society who has given exemplary service to the circle and the Samford community. And Lauren Bates won the Greek Woman of the Year Award. At our recent Spring Scholarship Awards Day, we presented students with scholarships for tuition and in-kind assistance worth more than $120,000.
Dr. Kay Guess, associate professor of accounting, received the "Most Outstanding Paper" at the Southeast Meeting of the American Accounting Association this spring. Dr. Art Carden, assistant professor of economics, was honored with the Charles G. Koch Outstanding IHS Alum Award given by the Institute for Humane Studies. And Dr. Betsy Holloway was promoted to Professor of Marketing and subsequently named to the new position of Chief Marketing Officer for Samford University.
We continue to work to improve our curriculum so that it represents the most relevant and demanding aspects of modern business practice. Please see the story below on our outstanding new concentration in Sports Marketing, led by Program Director Dr. Darin White. We developed a new MBA Concentration in Finance, and an MBA "Toolkit" course that gives new graduate students a set of skills needed to maximize performance throughout the MBA curriculum. We also are in the process of adding a much needed business writing course to our undergraduate pre-business core.
We continue to challenge our students by offering world class speakers and community networking events. This spring, our speakers have included Mr. Tom Fanning, President and CEO of Southern Company, Mr. Rich Yamarone, Chief Economist for Bloomberg News, Ron Losby, President of Steinway & Sons, Americas and two excellent academic economists, Dr. Claudia Williamson of Mississippi State University and Dr. Andrew Young of West Virginia University. I also was proud of our participation in a landmark historical event, as we held a Source Networking Breakfast at the Birmingham Public Library on the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King's Letter from the Birmingham Jail. Mayor William Bell joined us and read an excerpt from the letter to the standing room only crowd.
The future for the Brock School of Business is indeed bright. We will continue to invest in outstanding faculty and staff, cutting-edge technologies and facilities, and most importantly our students to provide them with the most effective possible foundation for outstanding business and entrepreneurial success imbued by a Christian Spirit. As I conclude my second year at Samford, it is a pleasure to serve with the leadership team of the Brock School of Business. Thanks to each of you for your support for our students and programs.
Have a great summer, and God Bless!
J. Howard Finch, Dean