The School of Business Administration hosted an Open House to unveil upgrades to two atriums in the Education & Business Hall. In the main atrium, passersby can catch the latest news from the trading floor on a new video wall and LED ticker display. SOBA alumnus David Markham (Business Administration, ‘85) donated the digital displays. Markham also serves on the SOBA Business Advisory Council, which helps implement SOBA initiatives into the region, in addition to helping provide strategic direction for SOBA. Just below the newsfeed and streaming stock updates is all new furniture. Gene and Sally Bradley donated lounge chairs equipped with laptop tables in addition to high-top tables.
Around the corner from the main atrium is the Allen Duke Tutoring Center. The newly remodeled space was established to honor the memory of Allen Duke (Accounting, ’17). After his passing, Duke’s family learned he had been volunteering his time to tutor fellow students. The Duke family created the Allen Duke Memorial Foundation to continue his legacy of helping others and invested Foundation funds in the tutoring center. The Duke family and Foundation will continue working with SOBA on other initiatives in Allen’s memory, including providing scholarships to students for Certified Public Accountant exam fees.
SOBA Dean Steve Elias also announced new programs and certificates coming to Fort Lewis College in Fall 2019. Students can now enroll in a Digital Marketing certificate program, Computer Information Systems major, or an Entrepreneurship & Small Business major. Elias also announced the potential for a Ski Operations certificate program being approved in the near future.
“We’ve listened to the community and we’re answering the call with these new programs and certificates,” says Elias. “SOBA is committed to community partnerships and innovative experiences for our students.”
And the biggest reveal for the evening echoed just that. Fundraising through the FLC Foundation is underway for a business innovation center that will be utilized by students, faculty, and regional businesses and entrepreneurs. In part, the center will bring together the Southwest Colorado Small Business Development Center, the Southwest Colorado Accelerator Program for Entrepreneurs, and the Southern Ute Indian Tribe’s entrepreneurial efforts to operate as an entrepreneurial and small business development service center.
“There are awesome initiatives in the business community at the local, county, and regional levels,” says Elias. “We want the center to create synergy to impact economic development for our region. Job creation, job growth, small business development, acceleration, you name it.”
Elias is planning to have grants and donations lined up with the hope that the center will open in 2020.