Friday, April 12, 2019

Celebrations Marking the Opening of the Business Innovation Hub at the Isenberg School of Management

The Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts Amherst marked the official opening of its new $62 million Business Innovation Hub (BIH) with style!

This magnificent structure had been years in the planning as well as in the construction (and I know since I taught classes when the construction was going on outside my classroom and my office). The structure marks a wonderful collaboration between two renowned architectural firms, Boston-based Goody Clancy and Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) of New York and Denmark.

Last evening, the gala dinner at the BIH took place, which were extraordinary, as were the atmosphere, speeches, and conversations. The meal was the best I have ever had during my time at UMass Amherst and I have been to many awards banquets, graduation celebrations, and other events.
The program is posted above and the menu below.
It was very special to see so many donors, alums, faculty, and administrators at this event. The dress code was black tie (optional).
It was extra special to hear from Bjarke Ingels, who traveled from Copenhagen, Denmark, and regaled us with his unique vision of great architecture and even shared with us that just the day before he had met with the Queen of Denmark, since he had designed the enclosure for its two very special immigrants, two pandas! And, today, an article on this exact topic appears in The New York Times.
The Isenberg School's Business Innovation Hub is the first project in higher ed in the US for this firm, which makes it unique and quite meaningful.

I am still enjoying the warm afterglow from the dinner last night.
I am not a big meat eater but the beef was so tender it just melted in our mouths and the mushrooms, mashed potatoes, and asparagus were all superb. The dessert, featured above, was also heavenly.

At our table, were: the Dean of the College of Computer and Information Sciences, Dr. Laura Haas, and her husband, Dr. Peter Haas, who is a great colleague and also an INFORMS member; Gordon Oakes and his wife, and  the Chair of our Hospitality & Tourism Management Department, Dr. "Muzzo" Uysal.

The evening was simply perfect. Special kudos to our former Dean, Dr. Mark A. Fuller, our Interim Dean, Dr. Tom Moliterno, and our great Chancellor - Dr. Kumble Subbaswamy for their hard work and vision in making the BIH a reality.

And today, after a great Operations and Information Management Department meeting, the official ribbon cutting ceremony took place with additional luminaries in attendance, wonderful speeches, and even students in the audience and Amherst town officials!
The reception afterwards included sushi, fresh fruit, cheeses, and many pastries.

A big shoutout to Professor Cathy Lowry for being a great Master of Ceremonies today as well as to the administrators and Associate Dean Nefertiti Walker, who beautifully captured what this stunning new space means to all of those who care so much about the Isenberg School and UMass Amherst.

And, last night, if you have not heard, the UMass Amherst hockey team, played against the University of Denver in the Frozen Four NCAA semifinal in Buffalo; won the game in overtime, and tomorrow night will be playing against the University of Minnesota Duluth for the national championship.

We also managed to submit a proposal to NSF yesterday.

The past 24 hours have been incredible and our Chancellor hopes to be wearing a very special cap, come Sunday!