New Facilities for Johnson MBA Thanks to US$25M Gift |

New Facilities for Johnson MBA Thanks to US$25M Gift

By Visnja Milidragovic

Updated July 5, 2019 Updated July 5, 2019

The Johnson Graduate School of Management will be expanding its facilities at Cornell University’s Collegetown campus in Ithaca, New York state, to create a bridge between the various business colleges active there.

The expansion has been made possible by a US$25 million gift from Johnson MBA alumnus, David Breazzano, and will revolve around a 76-square-foot building, scheduled to open in summer of 2017. Cornell’s interim president, Hunter Rawlings III, says the gift is “a whole-hearted endorsement of Johnson’s faculty” and a “vote of confidence in Johnson’s future and its role in the Cornell College of Business” during the business school’s next phase of growth. “We are deeply grateful for his [Breazzano’s] willingness to provide such a generous investment in support of Johnson’s continued excellence in business education,” says current dean of Johnson, Soumitra Dutta, who will assume the role of dean at Cornell College of Business later this year.

Breazzano says the Johnson MBA provided him with a solid foundation in business education that has helped him throughout his career as an investment analyst: “Johnson helped me discover my passion and aptitude, then helped me get my first job and I did well at it because of my education.” Breazzano completed the Johnson MBA in 1980 and went on to cofound DDJ Capital Management, of which he is currently president and chief investment officer. “I have a sense of gratitude,” he says, adding, “I always knew I wanted to give back when I was in a position to do so.”

Synergies between Cornell College of Business and Cornell Tech to benefit MBAs

The new center is conceived to primarily support business education at the school and the growing Johnson MBA program. However, its opening is a strategic undertaking for business education at Cornell as a whole.

Serving as a hub for a wider cross-section of business students at Ithaca’s Collegetown campus, the new facility will also help link Cornell’s three business colleges – Dyson, Johnson, and the Hotel School, (which merged in January to form Cornell College of Business) with activities at Cornell Tech on Roosevelt Island.

The Johnson Cornell Tech MBA is a one-year program designed with a focus on technology and the thriving tech startup sector, and the university’s plans to further increase the level of interaction between its colleges will also rest on Cornell Tech’s own expansion project.

MBA offerings and facilities get an update: MIT Sloan and the Kellogg School

A lot has happened to the business world in 135 years, since 1881, when the first collegiate school of business was founded at Wharton. It’s no surprise, then, that business schools have needed to innovate in response to changes in the needs of the modern workforce and, by extension, the MBA student body. Schools are tasked with not only expanding and modernizing their programs but their facilities as well, engendering more collaborate, flexible and specialized learning models and environments.

One example is MIT Sloan School of Management, which has just launched a US$5 billion fundraising campaign, one of the largest in higher education history. The Campaign for a Better World coincides with the 100th anniversary of the institute’s move from Boston to Cambridge, Massachusetts, in an effort to address the need for restoring and renovating some of its oldest buildings. Of course, like Cornell, the goals are not solely infrastructural. The strategy goes beyond brick-and-mortar objectives, as noted in the May announcement: “[T]he campaign will focus on the topics of education, research, innovation and entrepreneurship, the environment and human health – all areas of ongoing work at MIT Sloan and across the Institute.”

Also anticipating expansion of its buildings in 2017 is Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, as one part of a seven-year plan that also involves the growth of its one-year MBA program. This accelerated MBA degree encourages students to choose a major and “pathways” for building expertise in a specific area or industry, in much the same way as the Johnson Cornell Tech MBA does.

This article was originally published in May 2016 . It was last updated in July 2019

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