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College of Business Administration Celebrates the Dedication
of the James A. Haslam II Business Building



Jim HaslamThe James A. Haslam II Business Building on the campus of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, was formally dedicated on Tuesday, January 6.  As part of the grand opening celebration, College of Business Administration Dean Jan Williams hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony in the atrium of the new six-story building. Speakers included UT President John Petersen, UT Knoxville Interim Provost Susan Martin, and Jim Haslam, a long-time supporter of the university for whom the new building is named.  Following their remarks, Dean Williams and Mr. Haslam proceeded to the mezzanine level of the building to cut a bright orange ribbon which hung vertically from the top floor of the atrium.  The ceremony concluded with an invitation from Dean Williams for guests to tour the exceptional new facility.

During his comments, Williams said that the $46 million building represents a critical partnership between the university, the state of Tennessee, and private donors.

"State funds supported a large part of the structure. We thank the dedicated members of the Tennessee General Assembly and State Building Commission who have supported this project," he said. "We've looked to private support to provide furnishings, infrastructure and technology to complete the facility."

The new 174,000-square-foot home for the college houses 34 classrooms, over 75 offices, 35 team and presentation rooms, a technology center, an investments learning center, and a spectacular atrium for special gatherings.

Jim and Natalie HaslamAn alumnus of the college, Haslam is founder and chairman of the board of Pilot Travel Centers LLC and chairman of the board and president of Pilot Corp.  For many years, he has been a generous supporter of the university and the college. In addition to serving on the UT Board of Trustees and the UT Athletic Board, Haslam and his wife, Natalie, both 1952 graduates, serve as co-chairs for the Campaign for Tennessee – the university’s most ambitious fundraising effort in its history to date.  Most recently, the family has donated $7.5 million to the College of Business Administration, part of a $38.2 million gift to the university.

The Haslams' gift helped equip the building with cutting-edge technology that is utilized throughout the entire facility, making the Haslam Business Building one of the leading academic facilities in the country.  Each classroom and student team room provides students and faculty with the tools necessary to prepare for a global business environment. The Haslams also endowed the James A.  II and Natalie L. Haslam Distinguished Professorship in Entrepreneurship and Innovation and the James A. II and Natalie L. Haslam Torch Fund which provides hands-on learning through student-led investing.  The students that make up the Haslam Torch Fund management team present their results to the Haslams, providing the students with real-world experience.

During the tours that followed the opening ceremony, guests were able to see the building’s state of the art technology put to use.  In the Investments Learning Center, guests saw students use two Bloomberg terminals and a Traslux electronic data wall/ticker to see market fluctuations in real time. The room also provides a work center for the Torch Fund managers where they may prepare for their presentations to the Haslams.

Guests also visited the Horne Classroom, where faculty member Dr. Richard Newbert demonstrated the room’s technological capabilities. The classroom—like most in the building--features two large, drop-down, high-definition screens on which instructors project videos, presentations, and financial and news TV channels. Directed from a podium in the front of the room—which also includes a document camera and videoconferencing capability—the room allows split screen projection and freeze-frame function. Instructors also may make notes on the screens as the presentations are taking place.  Additionally, instructors have the ability to film their presentations via cameras mounted in the back of the room so that they may later be posted on the web for students’ review.  These cameras also provide hi-tech security capabilities.

Martin said the college is working to raise $15 million in private funding to create an endowment whose earnings would provide a perpetual cash flow to keep the technology current.

"With the new building comes new educational opportunities for our students, including international business, information management, and entrepreneurship and innovation," she said.

"When you combine the strength of our faculty with the depth of our programs and the tools of this facility, it adds up to be the very best training ground for leaders of tomorrow—not only for our state, but for the nation and the world," she said.

Construction on the James A. Haslam II Business Building began in November 2005.  The new building was constructed on the site of the former Glocker Business Administration Building, and the façade of that building was preserved as part of the new structure. Additionally, the Glocker Wing in the new building was named as a tribute to Dr. Theodore Wesley Glocker Sr., the first dean of the College of Business Administration in the early 1900’s.

An open house is planned for alumni and friends later this year.  For more information regarding building tours or open houses, please contact mhulette@utk.edu.

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