April 7, 2006 — With the announcement of its largest-ever challenge grant, the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation today joined the University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business in launching its $30 million campaign for new facilities, the first phase of a larger effort to enrich the college”s programs in the decade ahead. The $12 million grant will jump-start the school’s multi-year fund-raising effort to renovate its 1960″s-era buildings with state-of-the-art classrooms and facilities.
“We’re fully committed, in partnership with the University of Utah, to provide our outstanding business students with an innovative education in first-class facilities,” said Spencer F. Eccles, president of the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation and a member of the school’s National Advisory Council. “This exciting new business campus, combined with our first-rate faculty, will offer U students the right tools to succeed in today’s global business world,” he added. “But it’s going to take the involvement and support of our alumni and the business community, as well as the school’s faculty, students, and staff, for this campaign to succeed!”
The Foundation awarded the business school an outright gift of $3 million – the first installment of its multi-year challenge grant. Eccles encouraged other U business alumni and friends to join in “moving full steam ahead” toward success in meeting the campaign’s $30 million goal. To receive the remaining $9 million in challenge grant funds from the Eccles Foundation, the David Eccles School of Business must raise $6 million each year for the next three years for its building campaign.
The U’s three original business education buildings were constructed in the mid-1960’s when business majors numbered just 600. Today, nearly 4,000 students are enrolled at the David Eccles School of Business, and its graduates are some of the nation’s most respected CEOs, successful entrepreneurs, and business leaders. The school’s only new facility, the C. Roland Christensen Center, was added in 2000 with funding from U business supporters and alumni. The new facilities will complement the Christensen Center, which has led the way for the modernization of the business campus.
In announcing the gift, University President Michael K. Young said, “We are not only grateful for this extraordinary support from the Eccles Foundation, but also excited and motivated by the challenge it presents. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for us not only to take our business programs to the next tier of excellence, but also to offer our future faculty and students an unparalleled environment for business education.”
Jack Brittain, dean of the David Eccles School of Business, said the school will capitalize on the gift as a way to encourage additional donors to come forward. “We will work hand-in-hand with our alumni and friends in the local business communities and nationwide, and our faculty, staff, and students here on campus to leverage every dollar of this generous challenge grant to meet our building goal,” he said. “With the involvement of long-time supporters of the school as well as new donors, this campaign will be an investment in education that pays enormous dividends for Utah and our graduates for years to come.”
In launching its facilities campaign, the David Eccles School of Business also announced a campaign leadership committee from community business leaders including co-chairs Teresa Beck, former president of American Stores; William Champion, president and CEO of Kennecott Utah; Robert Garff, chairman of the board of Garff Enterprises; Pierre Lassonde, president of Newmont Mining, Denver, Colorado; and Mark Skaggs, a Utah entrepreneur and businessman. Spencer F. Eccles will serve as honorary chair.
The University of Utah’s business school is named for Eccles family patriarch and pioneering Utah industrialist David Eccles, a Scottish immigrant who came to Utah in 1863. One of the state’s earliest and most successful entrepreneurs, Eccles fostered the early growth of industry, business, and a vibrant economy in Utah and the Intermountain West.