Ribbon-cutting ceremony inaugurated season of growth for Liberty’s School of Business
The School of Business ushered in a new era for Liberty University with the official ribbon cutting ceremony Wednesday morning. Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient and economist Dr. Arthur Laffer joined in the ceremony with President Jerry Falwell and other university leaders.
“I’m so proud that this building is front and center on the highway because that’s what built this school- was entrepreneurism and willingness to take huge risks and to persevere,” Falwell said. “We’re thrilled that the business school will focus on entrepreneurism.”
Falwell said the architectural vision of the School of Business was to bridge the gap between two corridors on campus, connecting the modern buildings of North campus with the more traditional buildings of Main campus. Built out of Indiana limestone, the School of Business shares the same building material as many of the federal buildings in Washington.
Falwell said that it is fitting that one of the most beautiful buildings on campus is the School of Business, since the university was built on entrepreneurship. Falwell hopes the School of Business instills in students the importance of perseverance.
“Every major organization that has been successful in business has had hard times,” Falwell said. “That’s the lesson I want our students to learn – that you’ve got to persevere in down times … keep trying, don’t give up. I hope that’s what this school will teach our students.”
Doug Dalton Jr.’s English Construction Company built the School of Business and served the university since its earliest days in the 1970s. English saw the university through times of financial hardship and often contributed financially. Liberty now has a $2 billion endowment, one of the largest unrestricted endowments in higher education, Falwell said.
“God’s blessed us and we’re grateful for that,” Falwell said.
School of Business Residential Dean David Brat said the state-of-the-art School of Business facility sets a new standard for Liberty’s commitment to academic achievement and providing first-class training for tomorrow’s entrepreneurs.
“This new building will serve as a hub of excellence for students both now and years to come; to give them the necessary tools and skillsets needed – not just to secure jobs today – but to become the visionaries, innovators and entrepreneurs of bright new industries tomorrow,” Brat said. “It is built with the purpose and intention of becoming the incubator of tomorrow’s leaders – the next generation of business pioneers who will marshal the resources of information, technology and human ingenuity to forge new solutions and services for the market challenges they will face.”
Brent Schulz is a senior in the School of Business with a cognate in entrepreneurship. Schulz attended the ribbon cutting ceremony with his capstone class and said the new building helps diversify business students. Being in the School of Business equips him to fulfill his dream of working for a non-profit and eventually starting his own business.
“(The School of Business) definitely expects excellence at every corner,” Schulz said. “They give you real world application … professionalism is a key.”
Dr. Laffer also spoke at the dedication and said America needs good business and entrepreneurship.
“We desperately need people who are trained in business and economics to show the way to create the prosperity for our country,” Laffer said.
Laffer served as a policy advisor for President Ronald Reagan and he developed the “Laffer Curve,” which shows the relationship between the taxation rate and the level of government revenue, according to Investopedia. Laffer joined conservative columnist, author and radio host Todd Starnes on the Convocation stage later that morning for a conversation on America, economics and business.
Liberty University looks ahead with optimism at the School of Business’s future. Provost Scott Hicks shared his enthusiasm for what is on the horizon.
“Our purpose, intention and expectations are high,” Hicks said. “I am confident that with the dedication of this new facility, under the leadership of President Falwell, there is no end to what Liberty University will continue to accomplish for its students and our alumni. And with God’s help and blessing, we will continue to soar to new heights while our students enjoy the education and preparation they so richly deserve.”