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UB Dedicates School of Management's Alfiero Center

By Jacqueline Ghosen

Release Date: April 26, 2005

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The new Alfiero Center of the University at Buffalo's School of Management was dedicated today in a ceremony that included a high-tech ribbon cutting triggered by the click of a computer mouse by Sal and Jeanne Alfiero, who provided a $2 million gift for the three-story student center on UB's North (Amherst) Campus.

The Alfiero Center, which adjoins the Jacobs Management Center, is the first academic facility at UB, and one of only a few in the State University of New York system, to be funded primarily through private donations. Gifts from more than 150 alumni, friends, foundations and corporations provided the majority of the funding for the $7 million center.

"In important ways, the Alfiero Center is the visible manifestation of the dynamic partnerships that have contributed to its construction," UB President John B. Simpson said at the dedication.

"Initiated through the vision and support of dedicated alumni and university friends like the Alfieros and funded largely though private donations, the Alfiero Center is built upon innovative public-private collaborations," he added. "Such public-private partnerships continue to be increasingly important to ensuring the continued excellence and advancement of the university, and they play a critical role in enabling us to impact our surrounding communities in substantial and meaningful ways."

Simpson noted that the center was designed "with the goal of fostering creative collaborations among our management students, as well as between the university and business communities.

"Partnerships built the Alfiero Center, and sustaining such partnerships, in turn, is one of its key functions."

John M. Thomas, dean of the School of Management, said the new student center provides "a vibrant new learning community that allows for innovation in our curriculum and interaction between students, faculty and alumni like never before. The Alfiero Center also will enhance our ability to attract high-caliber students and faculty."

Describing UB as "a vital part of the life and presence of the Western New York community," Sal Alfiero, chair and CEO of Protective Industries, added: "My wife and I are thrilled that we, along with the more than 150 other contributors, are able to play a role in bringing to fruition this new facility, which not only represents a dedicated student academic and development center, but of equal importance, a significant architectural departure for the university's North Campus."

Among others speaking at the dedication were Robert L. King, chancellor of the State University of New York; Jeremy M. Jacobs, chair of the UB Council, and Reginald B. Newman II, chair of the Board of Trustees of the University at Buffalo Foundation, Inc. Jonathan H. Pancerman, president of the Undergraduate Management Association, and Olivia Y. Hooper, president of the Graduate Management Association, also spoke.

The 23,000-square-foot, three-story Alfiero Center is entirely student focused. It houses the nationally acclaimed Frank L. Ciminelli Career Resource Center, undergraduate and graduate student-advisement offices, three high-tech lecture halls, an Internet café, a suite of offices for student organizations and multiple breakout rooms for student team meetings and group projects. Wireless computer technologies have been integrated throughout the building, giving management students around-the-clock access to business research and market data. The undergraduate mezzanine on the second floor and the MBA mezzanine on the third floor overlook the building's multi-story atrium.

The first funding commitment for the center was made in 1999 by J. Grant Hauber, and his wife, Marcia. Hauber is retired vice president with Harold C. Brown Co., and a 1948 graduate of the School of Management undergraduate program. The stately convening area and atrium in the center has been named the J. Grant and Marcia S. Hauber Commons in their honor.

"Thanks to the generosity of the Alfieros, the Haubers and other benefactors, our students, tomorrow's business leaders, now have the opportunity to develop their management skills in a state-of-the-art environment consistent with the national reputation of our school," said Thomas.

There are 27 named spaces and/or major amenities within the Alfiero Center, likely making it the most broadly supported facility on campus. Among them are the Frank J. Colantuono Donor Recognition Wall, named in recognition of a $50,000 gift from the retired president and CEO of Independent Health Association, Inc., a 1977 graduate of the School of Management MBA Program.

The 28-foot-long, 5-foot-tall recognition wall and accompanying rendition of Baird Point are comprised of 776 handcrafted and painted ceramic tiles and 44 plates of tempered glass. The eight doors on the wall open to vivid scenes symbolizing the many opportunities that School of Management graduates will encounter as a result of their UB management education. The Baird Point columns represent education as a foundation of life.

The wall, which includes the names of alumni and friends who gave $10,000 or more to the School of Management in conjunction with "The Campaign for UB," was designed by Karen Singer, of Karen Singer Tileworks, Philadelphia, Pa. Donors gifted nearly $18 million to the School of Management during "The Campaign for UB."

Foit-Albert Associates was the architect for the Alfiero Center; the general contractor was GPS Construction Services. Construction, which began in the summer of 2003, was completed this spring.

The University at Buffalo School of Management is ranked as one of the world's "top business schools" by The Wall Street Journal. It also has been cited by Forbes for "best return on investment." For more information about the UB School of Management, visit http://www.mgt.buffalo.edu.