The University of South Alabama has surpassed its $1.1 million private gift fund-raising goal for the Learning Resource Center at the USA Mitchell College of Business through wide-spread support from alumni, business and civic leaders.
The $2.4 million, 10,000-square-foot Learning Resource Center will house an innovative library, a computer lab, group study rooms, the John B. Saint Financial Analysis Center and faculty offices for the department of accounting, according to Mitchell College of Business Dean Dr. Carl Moore. Construction is scheduled to begin in early December and be completed early next fall. It will be located off South Drive adjacent to the Mitchell College of Business.
For the first time in University history, an all-alumni fund-raising committee led the effort to raise money for the new building. Total funding for the new Learning Resource Center was received from a variety of sources including the federal government, University resources, and a significant number of private gifts, totaling more than $600,000. The private gifts resulted as a response to a $500,000 challenge gift from businessman and philanthropist Abraham Mitchell. The Learning Resource Center also benefited from $800,000 in federal funds secured by U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby and $500,000 from University resources.
USA President Gordon Moulton said, “We deeply appreciate the University’s alumni and supporters for becoming increasingly involved in securing the private financial support necessary to provide our students the margin of excellence they have come to expect from the University of South Alabama.”
The fund-raising committee was led by USA alumnus Alan Alexander. Other committee members were: Mitchell, alumni and brothers Don McCrory and Bruce McCrory, Moore, Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations Dr. Joseph Busta, and University Development Director Ginny Turner. Alumnus Jody Dunn leading the second phase of the campaign, which will create an alumni plaza with donor recognition bricks near the entrance of the new building.
Mitchell said the Learning Resource Center will offer Mitchell College of Business students a wonderful place to study, undertake research projects and collaborate on group projects. The Learning Resource Center also will boast a computer lab for classroom instruction and general student use and the John B. Saint Financial Analysis Center, which replicates a trading floor at a brokerage house.
Mitchell said he was pleased by the community support for the Learning Resource Center. “It’s part of our march to make the Mitchell College of Business a center of excellence.”
Of the fund-raising campaign, led by Alexander, Mitchell said, “It’s a step toward re energizing our alumni and bringing them back to the school.”
Alexander, who graduated with an accounting degree in 1987 and is now a lawyer at Helmsing, Leach, Herlong, Newman & Rouse, said he was pleased to lead the effort to raise money for the new Learning Resource Center. Alexander, Bruce McCrory and Dunn also are past presidents of the USA National Alumni Association.
“We’re really excited about the prospect of adding a Learning Resource Center to the Mitchell College of Business,” Alexander said. “I was fortunate that we had a number of interested people who worked on the committee with me.”
The entrance of the Learning Resource Center will be a plaza with recognition bricks, which will be imprinted with the name of the donor who purchases the bricks. For more information on purchasing a brick, call Abbie McCullough at (251) 460-7032.