Barry Florescue '66, a University of Rochester alumnus and current member of the University's Board of Trustees, has contributed $5 million to the University to support its newly created undergraduate business major. In recognition of the support and contributions Florescue has provided for the development of the major, it will be named the Barry Florescue Undergraduate Business Degree Program.
Thanks to Florescue's gift, the program, which is a collaboration between the University's undergraduate College and its William E. Simon Graduate School of Business, will provide undergraduates the opportunity to study business in a rich learning environment from faculty across disciplines.
"Let me express my gratitude to Barry for supporting a major that builds on the strengths of both the College and the Simon School and will provide a valued curricular choice for our undergraduates," said Joel Seligman, president of the University.
Florescue, who earned his bachelor's degree in business from Rochester, is chairman of the board of BMD Management Company Inc., and is a member of the Simon School's Executive Advisory Committee. Through the Florescue Family Foundation Scholarship and the Florescue Fellowship Fund, he has helped both undergraduate and business school students make their aspirations of a Rochester education a reality.
"When I learned that the University was considering reestablishing the business major that I pursued as an undergraduate, I knew this was an important area of the dynamic curriculum that was worth supporting," said Florescue. "I am pleased to be a part of this new program, knowing that it will prepare our students to become successful players in the world of business."
Peter Lennie, Robert L. and Mary L. Sproull Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Sciences and Engineering, said that Florescue's gift was important to the development of the major. "Barry's support ensured that we would be able to launch and sustain the new business major and we're very grateful for that," he explained. "Our undergraduates will greatly benefit from his generosity."
This new $5 million gift will be used to support tenure-track faculty at Simon who will be teaching courses related to the core curriculum of the major. It will also support related costs associated with offering the new major. An extension of the pre-existing business minor, the major was approved by the New York State Department of Education in February. Richard Feldman, dean of the College, says that there has been increased student interest in a business major, which will provide an expanded selection of courses in economics and statistics, as well as business-related disciplines, including finance, accounting, marketing, operations management, and organizational strategy. Undergraduates who complete this major will graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in business from the College.
The major, which has been in development for two years, will be supervised by a steering committee of faculty and administrators from both the College and the Simon School, which will monitor the program's enrollment numbers and course offerings, and oversee internships, special lectures, and other opportunities that can enhance the student experience. The program will be jointly managed through the Multidisciplinary Center in the College and the Simon School.
"We are excited about the distinction the program will bring the University of Rochester and the two units that are partnering together to deliver it: the College and the Simon School of Business," said Simon School Dean Mark Zupan. "The program reflects well on the 'One University' approach that President Joel Seligman has promoted and may well end up being one of the most significant cross-disciplinary programs on our campus. There is appreciable student interest and a market need for students who possess the first-class business training that the Simon School can provide coupled with the liberal arts excellence that has long been a hallmark of the College."
About the Simon Graduate School of Business
The Simon School prides itself as the place Where Thinkers Become Leaders™ and is currently ranked among the leading graduate business schools in the world in rankings published by the popular press, including BusinessWeek, U.S. News & World Report, The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times and Forbes. For example, the Financial Times recently rated the School 5th in the world for economics and 6th in the world for finance. More information about the Simon School is available on the World Wide Web at www.simon.rochester.edu.