Lynn University officially breaks ground on International Business Center

Surprise donation, procession of flags and aeronautics flyover highlight the ceremony
Lynn University officially breaks ground on International Business Center

Published Mar. 25, 2013

Ground was officially broken on Lynn University’s International Business Center (IBC), the new home of Lynn’s College of Business and Management today (March 22). As one of the events celebrating the first 50 years of Lynn’s history, this business center is a nod to Lynn’s future and a signature historic milestone that will be felt long into Lynn’s next 50 years.

In addition to hard hats and shovels, the ceremony was punctuated with flags and a flyover - and a surprise donation.

A procession of students carrying an impressive array of flags from 70 nations represented by those enrolled in the business school highlighted the business school’s international flavor, and additional students carried banners representing the school’s nine majors.

FlyoverThe business faculty also processed, with a few who made a spectacular entrance as they flew overhead in an orchestrated flyover by two of the Burton D. Morgan School of Aeronautics airplanes.

“Today we not only celebrate the groundbreaking of this incredible new international business center, but also the diverse spirit of our campus,” Lynn University President Kevin M. Ross said. “From Albania to Zimbabwe, students in this college currently represent 70 nations.”

The groundbreaking began with opening remarks by Ross who recognized the donors, Board of Trustees, the architectural firm Gensler, Gerrits Construction, the construction manager and business school alumni, among other groups.

A surprise gift

“The project started with a $6 million lead gift from an exceptionally generous alumni donor who has chosen to remain anonymous,” Ross said. “This donor has not only made a difference at Lynn but has also graciously given around the world and truly embodies the global spirit of our new international business center.”

Ross also thanked and acknowledged others who made gifts including Christine E. Lynn, chair of the Board of Trustees, who donated $1 million to name the lobby area, and Marlene Goldstein, who donated $1 million in honor of her late husband Arnold, beloved Lynn professor - who she said would have been “very proud” -  to name the lecture hall. 

The anonymous lead donor also offered to match an additional $3 million if the university raised $3 million. “We are close to receiving that matching gift and have raised $2.1 million out of the $3 million,” Ross said.

IndimiAnd before Lynn and Goldstein could take to the stage to speak, a man approached Ross and whispered in his ear. Ross went back to the podium to announce that Guest of Honor Dr. Alhaji Muhammadu Indimi, founder and chairman of Oriental Energy Resources Ltd. and last year’s honorary degree recipient, and his partner Shahid Ullah, of oil and gas company Afren, offered to close out the challenge grant and donate the $900,000. This surprise gift adds to the fundraising goal of raising $14.5 million needed for construction. 

The audience gave a standing ovation as Ross said, “We staged a lot for this groundbreaking, but I can assure you this was not part of it.”

Ross then welcomed someone with more than a passing interest in the new building who “has a smile a mile wide” - Thomas Kruczek, dean of the College of Business and Management - who summed up his feelings in a word, “Wow!”

“Our new International Business Center is truly a game-changer for the College of Business and every student who passes through its doors.” he said. “But the center is going to be so much more than just a building … it will forever change the way we teach, mentor and guide our students.”

The building will include a Center for Entrepreneurship, a Venture Lab, collaborative work spaces, a new Career Preparation and Internship Center that is the “kind of innovation that puts Lynn at the forefront of a student-centered real world education,” and Beyond the Classroom which will provide office space for outside companies to allow students to observe and intern on campus.

Kruczek said the 800 undergrads in nine majors and 200 in the MBA program are all “bright, innovative and eager to learn and I know how much the new center will enhance the quality of their education. And not just for them, but for tens of thousands of young men and women who will follow them in the years to come.” 

Kruczek then introduced one of the “best and brightest” students, Ivana Pancevsak from Macedonia. “Growing up in southeastern Europe, I had an interest in how a business operates, and my dream has always been to become a leader in a company,” said Pancevsak. “As a student at Lynn, I’ve had the opportunity to gain knowledge, to develop into a working professional and to get closer to achieving my goals.”

Breaking ground 

After the flag recession, Ross invited the donors, business school faculty and other attendees to help break ground. 

Groundbreaking

Those in attendance included donors and their families and guests including Christine Lynn and Lynn trustees Art Landgren, John Langan and Bill Shubin; Indimi and his guests from Nigeria, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, former undersecretary General of the United Nations, Kelly Smallridge, CEO of the Business Development Board of Palm Beach County, members of the College of Business Advisory Board, alumni and parents of current students and other guests from Argentina and Ireland.

“This is a great day for all of us at the College of Business. We had a vision of a vibrant, innovative, international business center filled with the best and brightest, and today that vision is becoming a reality,” said Kruczek in his remarks. 

Fundraising information

Current donations to date are $8,145,000 from 17 donors which does not include the $3 million challenge grant or the gift of $900,000 to close out the challenge grant announced at the groundbreaking.

  • Original $6 million anonymous gift from an anonymous donor
  • $1 million from Christine E. Lynn to name the lobby
  • $1 million from Marlene Goldstein to name the lecture hall
  • $100,000 from the Sanger Family Foundation to name a classroom
  • Gifts from Mr. and Mrs. Ercanturk, Lynn parents, and Bob Levinson, Lynn development officer, to name study rooms

Building features

Construction of the new 3-story International Business Center is scheduled to be completed by summer 2014  and will include the following features:

  • International Business Center 134,000 square feet of flexible spaces and common work areas to foster impromptu collaboration
  • 11 classrooms, 12 collaborative rooms, 2 conference rooms, 1 entrepreneur center, 22  staff and faculty work spaces, 2 recycling stations, a computer lab
  • space for outside organizations (for-profit and not-for-profit) to come into the college for selected, short-term projects
  • technology systems that enhance the educational environment 
  • a flexible design to allow for efficient and effective styles of teaching and learning from focused study to group study as well as traditional classroom learning to promote the values of entrepreneurship of global business
  • a design that is targeting the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certification—the highest level of certification awarded by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC)
  • a design that takes advantage of natural sunlight as a lighting source, decreasing the need for artificial lighting and will include rainwater harvesting to reduce the use of ground water

Download photos from the groundbreaking ceremony and high resolution renderings of Lynn's new International Business Center on Flickr.