HATTIESBURG, Miss – It’s a signature building that’s been a fixture on the University of Southern Mississippi’s campus for a while now and last week it was dedicated to a graduate.
“I don’t look at it as giving back a lot. The school gave me so much, it’s an immeasurable amount, and you can’t put a dollar value on it,” said Chuck Scianna, member of Southern Miss Alumni Hall of Fame.
Scianna, a 1975 graduate, doesn’t like to talk figures but he is now the most generous USM alum, donating 6 million dollars to help fund the 34 million dollar College of Business facility.
Many faculty members said the 93,000- square foot facility will have a major impact on the educational developments of future generations.
“This is transformative in that when you have space to gather and this technology is amazing…it’s a work of art and it’s going to take us places that we never could’ve gone without the space to learn and grow,” said Faye Gilbert, Dean of the College of Business.
This new facility, housing the college’s 2,000 students, faculty, and staff; is equipped with touch screen monitors, digital signs and smartboards. It also has an 88-seat testing center that includes a Certiport Certification Center that allows students and members of the community to become certified in Microsoft products.
USM President, Rodney Bennett comments on the advanced technology saying, “I think our sensitivities to being environmentally protective are important for this facility. I think it’s one of those buildings that transforms an academic program and I think you’ll see that in the years to come.”
President of the Student Government Association Jeffrey George and former president of the university Martha Saunders said this building is about creating better opportunities for future business leaders and using this as inspiration to leave a legacy.
“A building like this enables our professors to engage our students in everything that’s going on within our state, within our country, and also around the world,” said George.
Saunders, who served as President of USM from 2007- 2012, says the idea of this facility was conceived well before her presidency began, but she helped propel it forward, “It takes good facilities to attract the best students and this is going to attract some really fine students and if you have good business students, you have good businesses.”
George said as a current student he understands why Scianna wants to give back to a university that helped his future, “This University is helping me grow as a person and as a leader. I completely understand and would love to be able to do something like this in the future.”
The College of Business moved from Joseph Green Hall to its current location bearing the Scianna family name at the beginning of this school year.
According to a press release from USM, “The College of Business houses the School of Accountancy and Departments of Economic Development, Tourism and Sport Management; Finance, Real Estate and Business Law; Management and International Business; and Marketing and Merchandising.”
To learn more about Scianna Hall and The College of Business click here.