Nationally recognized economist Art Laffer joins Liberty in celebrating new School of Business building
Liberty University’s School of Business building, spanning 78,000 square feet and reaching three stories, has officially opened.
Although the building held classes beginning in August, Wednesday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony formally introduced the new structure to campus.
“This building behind us represents a significant investment and milestone for the Liberty University family in service to its core mission of training Champions for Christ,” said School of Business Dean Dr. Dave Brat during his opening remarks. “No good endeavor ever begins without the Lord’s help.”
The Jeffersonian-style edifice, coated with a bright crimson brick shell and Indiana limestone columns at main entrances on both sides, stands across from DeMoss Hall. The new $33 million building offers students the crest of academic excellence to prepare them for the business world. The facilities within include 12 Bloomberg stock-trading terminals and state-of-the-art telecommunication technology.
“This new building will serve as a source of inspiration for students both now and in years to come, to give them the necessary tools and skillsets needed not just to secure a job today, but to become the visionaries, innovators, and entrepreneurs of bright and powerful new industries tomorrow,” Brat said. “It was built with the purpose and intention of becoming the incubator of tomorrow’s servant leaders.”
American economist and Presidential Medal of Freedom holder Dr. Arthur Laffer spoke briefly prior to the ribbon cutting.
“We desperately need people who are trained in business and economics to show the way to create the prosperity for our country,” said Laffer, who is most celebrated for creating the Laffer Curve, a formula chart showing the effects of income tax changes in relation to government spending. “It’s wonderful to be here at the dedication and opening of the business school. (This is) what’s really needed on this earth: good business, good entrepreneurship.”
Laffer, who served on President Ronald Reagan’s Economic Policy Advisory Board, was also the architect and instigator of “Reaganomics,” the famous coined term referring to Reagan’s free market financial policies.
Over 300 students, faculty, and distinguished guests occupied the University Boulevard entrance for the ribbon cutting.
Liberty President Jerry Falwell also briefly addressed the crowd, sharing about Liberty’s humble beginnings and how, thanks to the entrepreneurial spirit of his father, Liberty founder Dr. Jerry Falwell, has experienced the rewards that come from persevering in business.
“Every major organization that’s been successful in business has had hard times,” Falwell added. “I think that’s the lesson I want our students to learn … and I hope that’s what this school will teach our students.”
The vision was cultivated on strong Christian values and a focus on outreach and academic excellence.
“This university was built upon entrepreneurship. … We’re thrilled that the business school will focus on entrepreneurism,” Falwell said. “God has blessed us, and we’re grateful for that.”
Senior marketing student Matthew Bishop said the building will serve as a networking engine for all business disciplines, including marketing, economics, accounting, and cybersecurity.
“It’s definitely a place where we can (concentrate on our major courses of study),” he said. “I think this is an awesome step forward. … the School of Business is definitely putting a lot of recognition on the academic legitimacy of Liberty.”
After the ceremony, Laffer joined Falwell, Brat, and Fox News radio host Todd Starnes at Convocation, where they participated in a panel on business, religious freedom, and faith.
“There’s nothing more thrilling on Earth than doing well by doing good,” Laffer told the students.“There’s no alternative to good economics, and you people are the ones that can bring it and make it really happen.”
Starnes shared his belief that Christians ought to be on the front lines for sparking change in society and that the Church, not the government, is the place that can make the largest difference.
“The problems facing America cannot be resolved by a political party, and the problems facing America cannot be resolved at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue,” Starnes said. “The problems facing our country can be resolved, and must be resolved, in the church houses of America.”