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LSU E. J. Ourso College Cuts Ribbon on Business Education Complex

Hundreds of distinguished members of the community and members of the E. J. Ourso College of Business family celebrated an event on Friday, March 2, that was years in the making for the college.

After years of planning, fundraising, partnerships and construction, a ribbon cutting ceremony was held recognizing the near completion of the college's new home, the Business Education Complex, the cornerstone project of the Forever LSU Campaign.

Funded as a private-public partnership between the college and the state of Louisiana, the BEC will open for classes to students this fall. Steve Forbes, chairman and editor-in-chief of Forbes Media, served as keynote speaker for the event, and lauded the completion of the BEC as an opportunity for the future.

"In short, the past does not matter," Forbes said. "People are looking at things with new eyes."

Forbes also stated that as the global economy turns around, Louisiana should be one of the places business and industry look to capitalize. The BEC will be a large part of that, he said.

"You recognize the importance of the mind, not resources," Forbes said. "Minds make resources. And this is a good day for Louisiana, not just LSU, for Louisiana. The mind is supreme. We're going to develop it."

LSU Chancellor Mike Martin spoke about what the completion of the BEC will mean for LSU.


Following the ribbon-cutting ceremony, self-guided tours of the BEC were offered to attendees.
Photo by Eddy Perez

"This will give LSU a competitive advantage in recruiting the best and the brightest from not only Louisiana, but from around the world," Martin said. "The Business Education Complex is an example of the type of partnership the university will need to engage in more in the future to make projects like this a reality. What today proves is that projects such as this can be achieved."

Bill Slaughter, president of SSA Consultants, and Jimmy Maurin, chairman of Sterling Properties Inc., have served as co-chairs of the LSU Business Building Oversight Committee, a part of the LSU E. J. Ourso College Dean's Advisory Council, for some time now. Both have worked tirelessly to make the BEC a reality, but both were also quick to point out that the fundraising for the BEC is not finished.

"We still need to raise just over $7 million to cover the costs of the Business Education Complex," Slaughter said. "Our job is not finished. Today is a great watershed moment in the history of the E. J. Ourso College, but people cannot lose sight of the fact that we still have work to do."

Maurin echoed Slaughter's comments.

"The DAC and the LBBOC have been working for 14 years to give LSU its first standalone home for the college of business in its more than 150-year history," Maurin said. "We will celebrate just as much when we can close the book on the funding for the BEC."


The Golden Band from Tigerland performed the national anthem and LSU alma mater during the BEC ribbon cutting.
Photo by Eddy Perez

E. J. Ourso College Dean Eli Jones lauded the BEC as "one of the top, state-of-the-art facilities in the United States."

"The Business Education Complex will provide students here with amenities that they never had before," Jones said. "This is a testament to the accomplishments of the college's alumni, donors, students and friends of the college."

In addition to those previously quoted, other dignitaries who spoke or attended as part of the platform party included:

Paul Rainwater, commissioner of administration for the State of Louisiana
Kip Holden, mayor-president of the city of Baton Rouge
Sean O'Keefe, former LSU chancellor and chairman & CEO of EADS North America
John Lombardi, LSU System president
Lee Griffin, LSU Foundation president
Roger Ogden, past chairman of the LSU Board of Supervisors and LBBOC member
William Jenkins, former LSU System president
John Maxwell Hamilton, LSU executive vice chancellor & provost
Hank Danos, chairman of the LSU Board of Supervisors
Jonathan Martin, chairman and CEO of RoyOMartin
Roy O. Martin III, president and CFO of RoyOMartin Peggy Scott, executive vice president and COO of BlueCross BlueShield of Louisiana and Dean's Advisory Council president
Maurice Coleman, director of Private Markets for the Teachers' Retirement System of Louisiana and DAC president-elect
Eric Monday, LSU vice chancellor and CFO
Robert Sumichrast, dean of the University of Georgia's Terry College of Business and former dean of the E. J. Ourso College of Business
Eddie Nunez, senior associate athletic director for internal affairs and development
Joe Tattoni, AIA principal for ikon.5 Architect
William Lane, professor emeritus of the LSU Department of Finance and two-time former interim dean of the E. J. Ourso College of Business
Dale Songy, CEO and cofounder of Songy Partners
Karen Deville, senior director of the Office of Advancement in the E. J. Ourso College
Harrison Breaud, president of the LSU E. J. Ourso College Business College Council
Cody Wells, LSU student body president


The BEC is composed of four buildings, totaling 156,000 square feet of learning and research environments, classrooms, labs and offices for faculty and college administration.
Photo by Eddy Perez

Following the ribbon-cutting ceremony, self-guided tours of the BEC were offered to attendees. Additionally, the event was streamed live for anyone unable to attend the event in person.

The BEC is composed of four buildings, totaling 156,000 square feet of learning and research environments, classrooms, labs and offices for faculty and college administration. It includes a landscaped courtyard, two classroom pavilions and an auditorium. Also included in the complex is the college's SMART Lab, a 40-person financial trading room, equipped with the latest financial analytics and data. Ground was broken for the BEC on March 19, 2010.

For more information about the Business Education Complex, visit www.business.lsu.edu/Business-Education-Complex.