ICQ 2003/4



Dorothy Park Gives $7 Million for New Business Building

A major gift from a longtime supporter will help Ithaca College become a leader in producing business graduates who not only achieve financial and professional success, but also promote social justice and environmental stewardship. Ithaca College president Peggy R. Williams has announced the gift of $7 million from Ithaca resident Dorothy Park, to be used toward a new home for the College's School of Business. It will be the first sustainably designed new facility for an undergraduate business program in the nation.

"During the last several years, the campus community has engaged in comprehensive planning to more sharply define the vision of our future," says Williams. "This has resulted in a vigorous commitment to providing an unparalleled academic and residential environment that promotes learning by attending to the whole student and his or her place in the global community. This very generous gift from Mrs. Park gives us a tremendous opportunity to help make that commitment a reality."

Dorothy Park is president of the Park Foundation, which has supported a number of programs that foster education and the environment at Ithaca College as well as in the local community. The School of Business contribution is a personal gift from Park toward the estimated $14 million cost of the building.

"For students to learn how to solve the complex problems of the 21st century, they need an education that recognizes the interdependence of humanity and nature, and compels them to consider the long-term consequences of any decisions they make," says Park. "I am delighted to be able to contribute toward a building that houses not just a school, but also a way of thinking and being that exemplifies ethical business practices, an understanding of organizations as citizens in their communities, and the responsible use of natural resources."

Ithaca College is in the early stages of a comprehensive fund-raising campaign, which includes the School of Business building project. The Park gift is the first major one to the business initiative, and the fifth-largest single gift in the College's history. The School of Business is currently housed in Smiddy Hall, which was constructed in 1982.

"To succeed in business today, students must learn to lead, to think critically, and to adopt a global perspective that respects the environment," says Robert Ullrich, dean of the School of Business. "One of the most important resources we have is our physical infrastructure. If we are to produce graduates who can balance economic, social, and environmental factors into their day-to-day decision making, we will need to provide them with facilities that model this process."

The school's new home will be designed to exceed the highest level of Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) standards of the U.S. Green Building Council.

"In a commercial building, most of these components would be hidden from the people who entered and used the facility," says Ullrich. "Our intent, however, is to make many of these elements of sustainable design visible to those who come into contact with the new building. In this way, we can transform the structure itself into a teaching tool to demonstrate the process of sustainable design as a key activity for business students to master."

Ithaca College recently announced a campus-wide initiative to incorporate sustainability principles and practices into its curriculum as well as its day-to-day management operations.

"The College has long been known as a leader in our commitment to environmental stewardship and citizen responsibility," says Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Peter Bardaglio. "Taking that commitment to an even higher level, we will be hosting a national summit on sustainable development in early April and leading a regional sustainability effort in conjunction with local public and private sector organizations."

Dorothy Park's late husband, Roy H. Park, was the founder of Park Communications Inc. He was a longtime chairman of the Ithaca College Board of Trustees, and the College's Roy H. Park School of Communications was named in his honor in 1989.

For more information on Ithaca College's sustainability initiative, visit www.ithaca.edu/sustainability.


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A. Ozolins, Ithaca College Office of Publications, 30 April, 2004