Published: September 23, 2010
In the shade of a building they helped bring to fruition, John H. and
Susan Sykes will be honored during The University of Tampa’s John H. Sykes College of Business 10th anniversary celebration.
casual, outdoor picnic on the Sykes College of Business lawn will be
held on Saturday, Sept. 25, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. A presentation
featuring UT President Ronald L. Vaughn and other speakers will be held
at 12:30 p.m.
Dr. James Fesmire, a Dana Professor of Economics,
came to UT in 1973 and has seen the campus evolve through more than
three decades, including those touched by the Sykes’ generosity.
have been dramatic changes, and we’ve been getting better – including
the students and the faculty – ever since,” said Fesmire.
has really been in the last decade, with the commitment from the
Sykeses and with Vaughn’s leadership, that Fesmire said he has seen the
“Before everybody talked about how much
potential we had, but we hadn’t found a way to reach it,” Fesmire said.
“The Sykeses changed the culture around here. Their donation created
more than just a building, which is wonderful. I think it was a catalyst
for the rest of the growth we’ve seen at UT.”
John H. Sykes
is chairman of Sykes Enterprises Inc, a firm he started in 1977 in
Charlotte, NC, as a small technical engineering firm. Today, the
information technology firm is based in Tampa and is a global leader in
providing customer contact management solutions and services in the
business process outsourcing arena.
Attendees at Saturday’s
event will include business students, members of the UT Board of
Trustees, UT faculty and staff, donors and members of the College of
Business Dean’s Advisory Council.
“The Sykes College of Business
has become a major force in the South in terms of being a notable
business school,” said Dr. Frank Ghannadian, dean of the college. “We’re
one of the 490 accredited business schools, and that puts us in the top
10 percent of business schools in the country.”
In the last 10 years, UT’s College of Business has:
Prior to it being the high-tech building it is now, the College of
Business building was McKay Auditorium, originally built in 1925 as
Tampa’s Municipal Auditorium, used for Gasparilla coronations,
graduations and school performances. The building was renamed in 1960
after the late Tampa Mayor D. B. McKay and in 1972 the city turned it
over to UT. In 1997, the Sykes donated $10 million to the University, of
which $7.5 million was used to convert the auditorium into the business
building. After being rebuilt inside and out, the John H. Sykes College
of Business was dedicated on Oct. 7, 2000.
Sykes’ generosity was followed by gifts from many donors including gifts
from Dan Doyle, a gift in memory of former trustee Richard Johnson
Binnicker, a gift from the Huizenga Family Foundation, Vincent J.
Naimoli, Davis Baldwin Insurance and Risk Management, Publix Super
Market Charities, Bob and Aida Calafell, and a gift in memory of Dow
Jamie Pilarczyk, Web Writer
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