HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - This is a news release from the University of Southern Mississippi
Moving into the space age — that's how Southern Miss alumnus Chuck Scianna describes the University of Southern Mississippi College of Business' move from Joseph Greene Hall into the building that bears his family's name.
Another way to describe it is transformative.
The 93,000-square-foot facility has already taken its place along Highway 49 as one of the Hattiesburg campus' signature buildings, but it's the effect the facility will have on current and future business students that promises to change south Mississippi, the region and perhaps the nation.
"Thanks to the foresight, planning and tenacity of Dr. Martha Saunders, Dr. Lance Nail, then Lt. Governor Phil Bryant, Katye Ainsworth and Bob Pierce, USM has one of the finest business school facilities in the country," said Scianna, whose family contributed $6 million of the $10 million in private dollars that helped finance construction of the $34 million facility. "My gratitude also goes to Dr. Rodney Bennett and Dr. Faye Gilbert for bringing the vision of Scianna Hall to fruition. This building is the space age, particularly compared to the stone age of the previous College of Business facility."
The building's namesake is a native of Bay St. Louis, Miss., who earned his bachelor's degree from Southern Miss in 1975 and a master's degree from the University of Houston. The member of the Southern Miss Alumni Hall of Fame is president of the Waller, Texas-based Sim-Tex, L.P., one of the leading suppliers of API-certified oil country tubular goods. He serves on the board of directors for both the USM Foundation and Southern Miss Athletic Foundation.
On Friday morning, Scianna joined now Gov. Bryant, a Southern Miss alumnus; University President Rodney D. Bennett; College of Business Dean Faye Gilbert; and Student Government Association President Jeffrey George as the ribbon was cut and hundreds of guests took their first look at the three-story facility.
In addition to private contributions, state bonds funded construction of Scianna Hall. Among other qualities and characteristics, the facility
- Almost doubles the square footage available for the College of Business;
- Contains special facilities such as the Creative Learning Lab, The First Center for Financial Services lab with its Bloomberg terminal, the Draughn Center for Healthcare Marketing room, the Green Center for Economic and Entrepreneurship Education room and the Ivey Conference Room;
- Offers an 88-seat Testing Center, which includes a Certiport Certification Center to welcome students and members of the community to become certified in the Microsoft suite of products; and
- Showcases technology with smartboards, digital signs, touchscreen monitors, and the capacity to connect with distant learning space.
Bennett says Scianna Hall gives USM students the opportunity to thrive in a facility customized to the needs of a changing business landscape.
"From specialized centers for entrepreneurship, financial services, and healthcare sales and marketing to cutting-edge technology, I know our students and faculty will utilize Scianna Hall's new features and services to maximize learning opportunities and develop innovative partnerships with business and industry leaders," Bennett said.
The facility has energized the college's 2,000 students, faculty and staff, according to Gilbert.
"Scianna Hall is transformative–a building that inspires us, engages us and forces us to adapt," Gilbert said. "We're grateful to Chuck Scianna and his family and the hundreds of other donors whose support has made this possible."
Gilbert oversees a college that offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs on the Hattiesburg and Gulf Park campuses, as well as through Online at Southern Miss.
The College of Business houses the School of Accountancy and Departments of Economic Development, Tourism and Sport Management; Finance, Real Estate and Business Law; Management and International Business; and Marketing and Merchandising. The college is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). AACSB accreditation represents the highest standard of achievement for business schools worldwide. Less than 5% of the world's 13,000 business programs have earned AACSB accreditation. Those schools produce graduates that are highly skilled and more desirable to employers than other non-accredited schools.