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UMass Lowell Business School Gets New Home

May 02, 2017 06:30AM ● By Theresa Gilman

The view of the main staircase from the Pulichino Tong Business Center ground floor

(Editor's Note: the following information was provided by UMass Lowell.)

LOWELL, Mass. – UMass Lowell celebrated the opening of the new home of its Manning School of Business, the Pulichino Tong Business Center, on April 20, 2017. It is the 13th new building opened by UMass Lowell in eight years.

The 54,800-square-foot building offers students a state-of-the-art educational environment that includes a simulated stock-trading room, a 43-foot real-time stock ticker that is visible on all four floors and technology-enabled classrooms.

John Feudo, UMass Lowell vice chancellor for advancement, invited the more than 300 people at the opening ceremony, which was held on the Grande Tomaney Plaza outside the building, to practice saying, “Oh, wow.” Then he asked them to look at the dramatic glass and steel structure behind him. “How could you possibly have any other reaction?” he asked.

UMass Lowell Chancellor Jacquie Moloney echoed that enthusiasm.

“It’s hard to imagine that it was only seven years ago when we opened the first new academic building on campus in 30 years. Today, we take another step toward realizing our pursuit of excellence for this university,” said Moloney, adding that this latest new building, along with others like the nearby Mark and Elisia Saab Emerging Technologies Center, “exemplifies what UMass Lowell is all about; providing our talented faculty, staff and students with opportunities to work with the community, business and industry to explore and develop the next generation of technology, new ways of doing business and leaders of the companies that make them possible.”

The building is named for alumnus John Pulichino and his wife, Joy Tong, successful entrepreneurs whose commitment to UMass Lowell includes donating more than $4 million for student scholarships.

“Today brings back fond memories, although I find it hard to believe that it has been only 50 years since I completed the last of my final exams and was happily awaiting Commencement Day as a proud member of the Class of 1967. With an excellent education behind me, I was ready to enter the workforce and embark on a career that would ultimately renew my ties with this incredible university,” said Pulichino, adding that he and Tong have proudly supported many talented and deserving business majors through their scholarship fund.

Pulichino is the CEO of Group III International Ltd., a global travel goods company founded by Tong, an industrial designer who is the president and creative director. Pulichino serves on the Manning School of Business Advisory Board and the committee that oversaw the construction of the building named for him. The couple lives in Boca Raton, Fla.

“From its inception, the new home of the Manning School of Business was designed to provide a facility to enhance the learning experience and to deliver academic excellence at perhaps the best value in higher education today,” said Tong, noting that the building offers an inviting place where students can collaborate and envision a bright and successful career yet to come. “I am confident that our graduates will find success in their chosen fields and at the right moment in their lives, they will experience, as I have, the personal enrichment of giving back and transforming the lives of the next generation.”

The business school is named for UMass Board of Trustees Chairman Rob Manning, who with his wife Donna, both UMass Lowell graduates, have supported a variety of university initiatives, including student scholarships and the construction of the Pulichino Tong Business Center. Manning, who is the chairman and co-CEO of MFS Investment Management, was unable to attend the ceremony but was represented at the event by his parents.

UMass President Marty Meehan recognized Manning for his “extraordinary commitment.”

“Rob has done so much for this campus and this university overall,” said Meehan.

Other donors also played a key role in supporting the new building, making gifts totaling more than $13 million toward the construction and several named spaces. They include two new centers focused on key areas of business education and research, the Richard and Nancy Donahue Center for Business Ethics and Social Responsibility and the Jack M. Wilson Center for Entrepreneurship. The four-story Joyce and Jerry Colella Atrium serves as the building’s main entrance and features an oval-shaped LED stock ticker with a 43-foot circumference that was manufactured and installed by Sunrise Systems of Pembroke, Mass. The Stuart L. Mandell and Ada Mandell Dean’s Suite, supported by 12 donors including UMass Lowell faculty and staff who are also alumni, is named in honor of the professor emeritus who founded UMass Lowell’s business program almost 60 years ago and who was influential in the calls to create a new building for the school.

Kathryn Carter, UMass Lowell graduate and former dean of the business school, worked with Mandell a decade ago to raise the first round of donations for the building.

“This has been an incredible team effort,” said Carter. “It’s a state-of-the-art building and it is going to be extraordinary for our faculty, students, staff and the community.”

During his remarks, Meehan recognized state Rep. Brian Dempsey of Haverhill for helping the university secure $25 million in state bond funding toward the $47 million construction of the Pulichino Tong Business Center, including the Grande Tomaney Innovation Plaza and renovations to Lydon Library. Meehan also commended the state Department of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance (DCAMM) for its work to help UMass Lowell transform its campus infrastructure, including the addition of the Pulichino Tong Business Center.

DCAMM Commissioner Carol Gladstone called the opening “a fabulous day for UMass Lowell,” adding that the new building is “the linchpin of the innovation district” on the university’s North Campus, which includes the Saab Emerging Technologies and Innovation Center, Lydon Library and research and academic facilities across University Avenue. “I can already see how this building is transforming the campus.”

Sandra Richtermeyer, the current dean of the Manning School of Business, agreed. “Our school’s amazing new home inspires to gather and engage and build community,” she said, later noting, “What a wonderful day this is in the history of business education at UMass Lowell.”

Rebecca Foley, a business administration major from Acton who is the recipient of the Pulichino Tong Family Foundation Scholarship, spoke on behalf of Manning School of Business students.      

“This is much more than a beautiful building. It is an inviting, vibrant space that will promote innovative collaboration and learning between faculty and students, which, to me, is what UMass Lowell is all about,” Foley said, thanking Pulichino and Tong for being great role models. “It’s not just your success in business and in life that is inspiring, it’s how you continue to give back that has taught us what’s most important.”

The building was designed by Cambridge Seven Associates and Lee Kennedy Co. was the general contractor on the project.

UMass Lowell is a national research university located on a high-energy campus in the heart of a global community. The university offers its more than 17,750 students bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in business, education, engineering, fine arts, health, humanities, sciences and social sciences. UMass Lowelldelivers high-quality educational programs, vigorous hands-on learning and personal attention from leading faculty and staff, all of which prepare graduates to be ready for work, for life and for all the world offers.

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