USC Upstate News

The Duke Energy Foundation Gives $1.25 Million To USC Upstate’s George Dean Johnson, Jr. College Of Business and Economics

01- 26- 2009

Spartanburg, S.C. - In recognition of the project's unique and transformational nature for Spartanburg, The Duke Energy Foundation recently pledged $1.25 million to the George Dean Johnson, Jr. College of Business and Economics at the University of South Carolina Upstate. The $30 million facility, which bears the name of the chairman of Johnson Development Associates, is currently under construction on Saint John Street and is expected to be completed in May 2010. 

“The Duke Energy Foundation views this business school as a landmark event for Spartanburg and the surrounding community. The location of a major business school will be a tremendous enhancement to the downtown area,” said George Acker, government and community relations director for Duke Energy Carolinas. “We view this as a “once every generation kind of gift” and the project fits nicely with our focus on economic and business development ties within the community.”

JCBE Duke Donation
From left to right: Mayor Bill Barnet, George Acker, Chancellor John Stockwell, Dr. Harris Pastides, and Dr. Darrell Parker 

USC Upstate Chancellor John Stockwell expressed his tremendous appreciation to the Duke Energy Foundation, which is funded by Duke Energy shareholders, for its very generous gift that was pledged in summer 2008.

“The implications of having a prestigious business school in our downtown will be far-reaching and we are thankful to Duke Energy Foundation for recognizing these implications,” said Stockwell. “Once the facility is completed and our business and economics programs are running out of the heart of downtown Spartanburg, it will assist in the economic development of the City, the region and the State; serve as a magnet for corporate investment; aid in pre-start-up and incubation support of small business; and introduce thousands of business majors over the years to the opportunities for investment in the City.”

Stockwell will present the Chancellor’s Council Distinguished Gold Dome Award to the Duke Energy Foundation for its sincere loyalty and commitment to USC Upstate and its future at the University’s annual Founders’ Day celebration on February 19.

“Duke Energy is committed to the success of the communities we serve. We see the new Johnson College of Business as a powerful enhancement to the economic and social infrastructure of Spartanburg, and the Upstate region as a whole. We also recognize the value that higher education institutions play in the growth of the new economy, and applaud USC Upstate for its leadership,” said Brett Carter, president of Duke Energy Carolinas, which covers North Carolina and South Carolina, serving approximately 2.4 million customers in a 24,000-square-mile service area.

The three-story, 60,000-square-foot building is located adjacent to the Chapman Cultural Center. David M. Schwarz Architects, Inc. is the design architect; McMillan Smith & Partners Architects is the production architect; Linbeck is the construction manager at-risk; and Clerestory Projects Group, Inc. is the project manager. 

Dr. Darrell Parker, dean of the George Dean Johnson, Jr. College of Business and Economics at USC Upstate, is energized when thinking of the new facility -- what it means for current faculty and students and the ability to recruit future faculty and students.

“This new facility will relieve pressures on restricted space for teaching and learning through the creation of sufficient classrooms and offices for future growth,” said Parker. “In addition, it will permit the development of specialized instructional space including dedicated computer labs with business software, a stock market trading room for finance classes, and classrooms with computers to permit students to individually run educational software during class.”

Parker also predicts significant expansion of resources for the local business community. “The Johnson College of Business and Economics will support executive education and other academic outreach activities, enabling expanded services for small businesses and connecting business leaders with the University and its students. We have the amazing opportunity to provide modern facilities with current technology, shared space for executive and continuing education opportunities, and a "Class A" office environment that welcomes and serves the business community.”

The George Dean Johnson, Jr. College of Business and Economics at USC Upstate currently enrolls nearly 850 majors and is the fastest growing unit in the University. It is fully accredited by the Association for the Advancement of Collegiate Schools of Business, one of 42 institutions worldwide with undergraduate only programs that are accredited. Few business schools in the nation with a predominantly undergraduate mission are accredited by this prestigious international association.

Founded in 1967, the University of South Carolina Upstate has spent the last 41 years developing its mission as one of the Southeast’s leading metropolitan universities. In addition to building acclaimed and accredited academic programs, the University has recruited a faculty with excellent credentials and experience and a student population of great potential and diversity. USC Upstate is home to 5,000 students from 38 states and 71 nations. More than 17,500 students have earned their degrees with 85 percent of graduates remaining in the Upstate to build their lives and careers.

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