Johnson O' Akinleye (center) is cutting the ribbon during the unveiling of the new School of Business. Photo provided by NCCU Communications and Marketing.

NCCU unveils new School of Business

March 18, 2024

Story by reporters De’Zaria Lucas and Isabelle Exsted

N.C. Central University celebrated its new School of Business recently with a ribbon cutting. The new 76,000 square foot building, built in the shape of a ‘Y,’ sits on about 4.5 acres.

“Wow!” Chancellor Johnson Akinleye said, pausing.  “Wow!”

“Wow!” the audience said right back to the chancellor.

Akinleye, students, alumni, members of the board of trustees, along with the dean of the School of Business.

“This is just incredible,” Akinleye said. Today signifies a monumental stride in our relentless pursuit of academic excellence and innovation here at North Carolina Central University. This ribbon cutting optimizes our steadfast dedication to providing unparalleled educational opportunities for our students and nurturing the future leaders of our community, our state, and the world.”

Anthony Nelson, the dean of the new School of Business, said that the creation of the building took a lot of hard work.

“There was a lot of planning,” Nelson said. “We looked at different designs …  the team traveled to different countries and looked at different buildings.”

The building has been a long time in the making. Initial plans began in 2016, but COVID slowed down the process.

“Most of the involvement started in 2019. That is when a lot of the alumni were asked to be donors,” said NCCU’s Faculty Senate Chair, Sean Colbert-Lewis.

Nelson also said that he was appreciative of donors’ help.

A ring inside the trading room features a digital ticker displaying current stock values, suspended from the ceiling. Photo by Isabelle Exsted.

“You [alumni] are cherished for your commitment, your loyalty, your support to your alma mater. Thank you for making this school of business a bedrock of success,” Nelson said. “We are eternally, eternally, thankful, and grateful for your ongoing support.”

The first floor includes the Lowe’s Auditorium and a room for instruction in stock trading that features a large circular ring displaying real-time stock market values. Bloomberg trading software will also be available for finance students.

The Lowe’s Auditorium was by far the largest room within the building. The space offers dressing rooms, accessibility features to create more space in the first row, and live streaming services.

The second floor has the Business Innovation Lab (245), Business Incubator Suite (239), and Cybersecurity Lab (257). The Business Incubator Suite expects to install state-of-the-art technology for students to bring entrepreneurial ideas and commercialize them.

On the third floor, some of the featured rooms were the Behavioral Research Room (348), Culinary Lab (341), Dining Room (349), and MBA Lounge (340).

The gigantic culinary lab stuck out at the top of the stairs on the third floor with large metal counter spaces, televisions, sinks, and ovens that mimic a real cafeteria. The space will be utilized to instruct hospitality students and for various events involving food service.

“The opening of the business building gives us the opportunity to connect with other students, and the school of business is here to invest in the students,” said business senior Kyndall Ray, who used the ribbon cutting as an opportunity to network with business professors and alumni working in the business world.

Business students at the ribbon cutting all agreed that the building will provide them with sophisticated technology and more opportunities for professional development.

The School of Business has the following undergraduate programs: commercial real estate, accounting, business administration, information technology, Entrepreneurship along with hospitality and tourism.

“This building is a testament to a lot of hard work, a lot of planning and dedication to being a student center institution. Our students that’s interested in studying business now have a fantastic new space, in which to learn and a great new space for our campus,” NCCU Chief Brand Officer Stephen Fusi said.

 

 

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Johnson O' Akinleye (center) is cutting the ribbon during the unveiling of the new School of Business. Photo provided by NCCU Communications and Marketing.
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Johnson O' Akinleye (center) is cutting the ribbon during the unveiling of the new School of Business. Photo provided by NCCU Communications and Marketing.
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