Emory Report
October 3, 2005
Volume 58, Number 6


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October 3 , 2005
Grand campus debut for new Ph.D center

By eric Rangus

The location of the main stage—directly underneath the bridge between the Goizueta Business School building and its new addition—was as symbolic as it was convenient.

That bridge not only shaded the stage on a hot day but it also connects the Goizueta Business School’s past and present (the 1997 main building) with its future: the brand-new, five-story Goizueta Foundation Center for Research and Doctoral Education, which was dedicated Wednesday, Sept. 28.

The center will serve as the touchstone for the business school’s growing commitment to research. A big part of that is Goizueta’s 3-year-old Ph.D. program, which will graduate its first class in the spring and now has a permanent new home.

"This location is both a gateway to and a crossroads within the campus,” said President Jim Wagner, noting its proximity to the School of Law, Emory’s health care centers and the Quadrangle, as well as its spot at the corner of Clifton Road and Fishburne Drive, one of the prime entries to campus. “There is a literal convergence of energy in this place.”

“It’s not the structure itself that’s most important,” said student speaker Gerald Kane, a 1998 graduate of the Candler School of Theology and one of the 11 initial members of Goizueta’s doctoral program. “It’s the anticipation of what will go on inside these walls.”

The 83,000-square-foot center was completed in about 17 months for $33.4 million ($12 million of that came from a challenge grant provided by the Goizueta Foundation). It will house the business school’s doctoral program, Executive MBA and Modular Executive MBA programs, research centers, faculty offices and community space (which includes a breathtaking fifth-floor balcony view of Atlanta). The new center complements the existing building; the architect and builders were the same for both projects.

Some 40–50 donors were on hand for the opening as well as faculty, staff, administrators and hundreds of business students gathered in Patterson Green (the lawn space, named for Goizueta alumnus Solon Patterson and his wife Marianna, a graduate of Emory College). The green is located where Fishburne Drive once ran—the road was rerouted to make way for the foundation center—and it provides not only a nice gathering spot but also a more aesthetic connection to the center’s neighbor, the Schwartz Center for Performing Arts.

Business school deans past and present spoke during the ceremony. Tom Robertson, who was dean when ground was broken on the center in March 2004 and now serves as special assistant to the president for international strategy, gave a history of the project as well as the thinking that went into the creation of Goizueta’s doctoral program.

When plans were drawn in 1998, Goizueta was one of just two business schools in the top 25 nationally without a doctoral program. Despite the high costs involved (Robertson said each business Ph.D. costs $250,000 to educate), the move had to be made.

“It’s integral to the value system of a great university,” he said. “As our Ph.D. students graduate, they will enhance our reputation, and we can’t hire truly great faculty without a Ph.D. program.”

And the doctoral program is expanding rapidly. A cohort of 11 students in three disciplines entered the program in fall 2003. Now there are around 50 students in five disciplines. “Our responsibility is to use this space for outstanding scholarship,” Kane said.

New Goizueta Dean Larry Benveniste expressed excitement about what the future holds. “We have everything we can imagine going for us—great faculty, great students and a great community,” he said. “It’s everything we can dream of as we move forward.”

Board of Trustees Chair Ben Johnson called the center “truly stunning” and added that it is a “reflection of the Goizueta Business School’s commitment to research.” Johnson served as master of ceremonies for the event and joined members of the Goizueta family—Roberto Goizueta’s widow Olga, and their children Olga and Javier—for the ribbon cutting that wrapped things up.

“A world-class business program must do more than transfer knowledge,” Johnson said. “It must be at the forefront of creating knowledge. The entire University celebrates this new addition.”

In the humid breeze, the gonfalons representing each of Emory’s schools seemingly flapped their approval.