Offutt School of Business Launched
Sep 23, 2010Concordia's school of business will assume the name of a visionary business leader and servant of the college. The Offutt School of Business is named for 1964 alumnus and businessman Ronald D. Offutt. The chairman and CEO of R.D. Offutt Company and RDO Equipment has served as a longtime member and chair of the Concordia Board of Regents.
"He is one of those giants on whose shoulders we stand," said Interim President Paul J. Dovre. Just as Offutt's life and leadership have exemplified success and significance, so will his namesake, the interim president said.
The college will raise $50 million to support the business program and facility. So far, the sum of campaign gifts received is nearly $37 million. Offutt's lead gift, which is confidential, represents the largest in Concordia's history.
"This is the kind of impact gift that shapes the history of an institution like ours," Dovre said.
Offutt supports the school of business because he believes strongly in the mission of the college and its investment in the next generation of business leaders. He also wanted to honor the late President Pamela Jolicoeur, his friend who established the vision for a new business school.
"I'm honored to give back to the school I love," said Offutt. He has served on the Board of Regents for 20 years, 11 of those as its chair. His final term as chair ends this month.
The curriculum for the Offutt School of Business will be infused with four crucial themes: leadership development, global understanding, an entrepreneurial perspective and an ethical standard. Students will interact will business leaders and apply what they learn in real-world settings.
"It's never been more important to prepare business leaders for the challenges ahead," said Dr. Greg Cant, dean of the Offutt School of Business. "It will be an outstanding, high-quality program that redefines business education in the liberal arts tradition."
Work on a $12.9 million project to repurpose the college's Grant Center for the school is expected to start next spring. It will be open for classes by fall 2012. The space will include smart technology, board rooms, trading rooms and space for conversations between faculty and students. Business students also will run a coffee shop in the facility.
Plans for the school thrilled students, even those who will graduate before the program and facility are completed.
"The commitment they're making to a state-of-the-art business education is remarkable," said Casey Johnson '11 of Jamestown, N.D. "I'm envious."