TUSKEGEE UNIVERSITY DEDICATES NEW ANDREW F. BRIMMER COLLEGE OF BUSINESS AND INFORMATION SCIENCE

10/19/2007

Tuskegee University, the educational roots of African American business through its first principal, Booker T. Washington, added another significant chapter to the advancement of African Americans in business--today with the  dedication of a state-of-the-art Andrew F. Brimmer College of Business and Information Science.

 The President of Tuskegee University, Dr. Benjamin F. Payton, announced that the new $15 million building, named in honor of Dr. Brimmer, is "a direct outgrowth of Tuskegee University's historical mission and its emphasis on economic empowerment and business development."

Dr. Payton said, "Tuskegee's first principal, Booker T. Washington, was a strong advocate of entrepreneurship and business development and his vision finds contemporary expression in the ongoing evolution of the College of Business and Information Science."

Dr. Brimmer was the first African American  to serve as a member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System in 1966, serving until 1974.  Dr. Brimmer, according to Dr. Payton, has been actively involved with Tuskegee University as a member of the Board of Trustees since 1965 and in 1982 became the first African American to serve as Chairman of the Board of Trustees.

In commenting on the naming of the building in honor of Dr. Brimmer, President Payton said, "Andrew F. Brimmer embodies the business acumen, the intellectual energy and achievement and moral character traits that Tuskegee University tries to instill in students, and thus, was the obvious choice for naming this new state-of-the-art academic facility on campus."

At a construction cost of $14.5 million, the new facility is located in Tuskegee University's historic district, and represents one of the University's signature buildings.  Consisting of four stories and approximately 45,000 square feet, the new facility almost triples the space previously available for business and information science classrooms, laboratories, offices and lounges.   Outfitted with the latest in technological advancements including "smart" classrooms, and state-of-the-art laboratories and research capabilities, the College offers space that is designed to provide the best simulation of real-world business concepts and applications.

Dr. Brimmer, who is president of Brimmer & Company consulting firm based in Washington, DC said, "I am highly honored that the Board of Trustees of Tuskegee University accepted Dr. Benjamin Payton's recommendations that the College of Business and Information Sciences be graced with my name.  During my 41 years of association with this institution, I have paid special attention to the evolution of its program in economics and business.  I have supported it both intellectually and financially."

Dr. Brimmer praised Dr. Payton for "carrying on the vigorous leadership of the program in business education that was begun by Booker T. Washington, Tuskegee's first principal in 1882."   He added, "That exceptional support continued under Dr. Luther Foster, Tuskegee's fourth president.  However, while the contributions of these two former leaders were outstanding, Dr. Payton's visionary leadership has been extraordinary in advancing and transforming the historic mission of Tuskegee University."

Dr. Payton, who is in his 26th year as only the fifth president of Tuskegee University in its 126 years of existence said "a strategic thrust" that provided a major impetus for the future growth of the business program was its reorganization in 1985 into a full-fledged College of Business. It was accredited in 1998 by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB).

Among the major corporate contributors toward the construction of the new facility were: Procter & Gamble ($2 million); Ford Motor Fund ($1 Million); Praxair ($1 million), 3M ($1 million);  SouthTrust ($500,000);  AmSouth Bank ($500,000); and Dr. Brimmer made a contribution of  $720,000.  Other contributors included Alabama Power, ALFA Insurance, Arthur Vining Davis, Stephen Canter, Oliver Carr, Emrett Groomes, First Tuskegee Bank, Liberty Corp, Richard D. Morrison, Herman Russell, Vaughan Nelson Investment Management, and Felker W. Ward. Also, the legislature and the Governor of the State of Alabama have approved a $4 million award towards the new building.

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