Wests' Gift Supports Technology in New Business Building
KNOXVILLE, TN — Knoxville-native Mike West and his wife, Tiffiny, have made a $1 million contribution to the University of Tennessee College of Business Administration to support technology in the college's new classroom building, opening late 2008.
Their gift is part of the Campaign for Tennessee, a $1 billion fundraising effort at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
To commemorate the Wests' gift, the college will create The West Wing, the new name for the special purpose room located in the new classroom building.
"The West Wing, located on the west side of our new classroom building, will be one of the most spectacular facilities on UT's campus," said Jan Williams, dean of the College of Business Administration. "Its open, grandiose architecture and spectacular campus views are a wonderful tribute to the contributions that the Wests have made to our college."
The Wests have a strong UT legacy. Both are 1989 College of Business Administration graduates, and Mike West is a lecturer in the Department of Marketing and Logistics, teaching entrepreneurship and marketing strategy. Mike also is CEO of Knoxville-based Northshore Management Co. LLC — a private holding company with controlling investments in a mergers and acquisitions firm, an investment partnership, a national document destruction company and a real estate investment company — and a member of the college's Advisory Council to the Dean.
"The new business building is a tremendous facility," said West. “The planning and thoughtfulness that went into the building demonstrates a commitment to the future of the College of Business Administration and its students. Because of the university's commitment, the students are going to get a unique opportunity to learn in a very special environment. Tiffiny and I are thrilled to be a small part of its future."
Williams said the Wests are "valued members of our college family."
"The guidance Mike has provided to the college he now provides to our students in the classroom. Because of Mike's perseverance, our new business administration classroom building is a reality," he said.
West credits his success to the education he received at UT.
"The college was a special place when I was a student, and it's an even more exciting environment today,” West said. “When I am on campus, you can feel the energy and enthusiasm. The students in the college represent our region's economic future, and, based on what I have seen, our future is bright.
"The college is part of Tiffiny's and my heritage. It is important that the people who share this history support its future and provide for its growth. The college provided us with an opportunity, and we are providing support to help it succeed for future generations."
The Campaign for Tennessee — the most ambitious effort in the university's 214-year history -- places UT among the ranks of the nation's largest public and private institutions that have sought this level of private support.
The campaign, which launched its silent phase in 2005, will secure private gifts that, in turn, will contribute substantially to the distinct, but linked, campuses comprised by the University of Tennessee system. Funds raised through the campaign will directly support the objectives of UT's strategic plan, as outlined by UT President John Petersen. Among those objectives are improved student access and success, research and economic development, outreach and globalization.
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About The University of Tennessee College of Business Administration
The mission of the University of Tennessee College of Business Administration in Knoxville, Tennessee, is to provide innovative leadership in management research education and practice. The College consistently breaks new ground with both its scholarship and award-winning, integrated curriculum that is taught within its undergraduate, graduate and nationally recognized executive education programs. The College is fully accredited by AACSB International - The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. For more information about the University of Tennessee College of Business Administration, visit http://bus.utk.edu