10 November 2015

Florida Southern Means Business

My brother, Ryan, and I went to the dedication ceremony/lunch/tour of an exciting new business building at our Alma Mater, Florida Southern College. The Becker Business Building was built on Lake Hollingsworth, on the far eastern side of campus. This three story building was designed by the same architects who designed the two other new buildings (humanities building and residence halls), which keeps a similar integrity of the original Frank Lloyd Wright buildings that make the campus so unique and beautiful.

I am always excited to see how Florida Southern continues to grow. As an alumnus of the business department, I was particularly excited to see this new addition.

The dedication ceremony was held outside, at the front of the building, which faces the lake. We stood under the tall, sprawling oak trees, laden with moss, which offered welcomed shade on the hot day. After the many talks and ribbon cutting, most of the crowd headed to the large tent set up with a lovely buffet of food. That's where we headed, and we loaded our porcelain plates with salad, grilled chicken, grilled zucchini, naan bread, pasta salad, etc... After eating and chatting with some folks who sat with us at our tables, we headed inside to take a tour.

The lobby is sun-filled, with floor-to-ceiling windows and space to breath. The comfy sofas, chairs, and colourful accents make the space feel more like a nice resort, not a college business department. From the lobby, the hallway stretches on with classrooms on each side, but the first set of glass paneled doors reveals a trading room, complete with a huge screen at one end, computers for each student, and even a market ticker screen at the top of the wall rotating around the entire room 24 hours a day. The classrooms are spacious and all have huge windows with beautiful views no matter where they are located in the building.

On the second floor, more classrooms with views and with my new favourite thing (that was in every room on every floor): glass boards (instead of chalk boards or white boards). The glass looks so nice, and writing on it just seems more fun. My next favourite thing included the small breakout conference rooms that were placed here and there. Enclosed in glass between two hallways, each one contains a curved table, chairs, and a large screen. I spotted writing on the glass windows here and loved that.

Then, on the third floor, a most beautiful conference/board room is complete with a long table, bronze chairs, huge floating screen that comes out of the wall so it can be moved and adjusted, lovely hanging light bulb fixtures, and an outside terrace that overlooks the lake. I would gladly attend some meetings there. Each classroom has its own WiFi that students can connect to and share from their device on the large screen. There's also a marketing research room that researchers observe a focus group through a one-way mirror.

Ryan and I visited the MBA suite on our way out, and wondered quietly if we could go back to school. This place would make anyone want to go back to school.

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