DURHAM, N.H. – The University of New Hampshire will break ground on the Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics Tuesday, May 3, 2011, the first step in constructing a new building that will help transform the university’s graduate and undergraduate business education and reinforce its long, proud history of offering a first-rate business education.
The new Peter T. Paul College, which is scheduled to open in January 2013, is made possible by a generous gift of $25 million – the largest in the history of UNH – from alumnus, entrepreneur, and philanthropist Peter T. Paul, a native of Troy and 1967 graduate in business administration. The groundbreaking will take place at 1 p.m. at the site of the new college on Garrison Avenue.
“This groundbreaking moves us one step closer to creating the dynamic learning environment our students need as they prepare to become the next generation of business leaders. We cannot thank Peter T. Paul enough for his visionary leadership gift that will allow us not only to expand our teaching, research, and outreach but continue to contribute to the economic vitality of our region and the larger world,” said Mark W. Huddleston, president of the University of New Hampshire.
The new building will allow UNH to expand capacity of its business programs from 1,700 to 2,500 students. The new building is critically needed at UNH as demand has outstripped supply, and many well-qualified students who seek admission to the business school are not accepted due to space constraints.
“This is my investment in our students, this university, our state, and our future,” Peter T. Paul said.
The Peter T. Paul College, which also will house the Whittemore Graduate School of Business and Economics, will help create a dynamic, integrated learning environment and allow UNH to provide one of the top undergraduate business programs in the nation. “Smart classrooms” will be outfitted with the latest technology to allow students and faculty to record lectures and download them on to iPods. Experiential learning facilities for hands-on learning, and informal gathering areas will encourage student collaboration.
According to Daniel Innis, dean of the Whittemore School, the new building will create a new business center that will invigorate students, alumni, the New Hampshire region, and the world beyond, as well as provide a transformational environment to support the generation of leading-edge business solutions and new ideas.
"The history of business education at UNH is strong, and we are continuing to build excellence in teaching, research, and outreach to our community. Hundreds of business school graduates are added to the region's economy every year, and their economic impact and contribution to our future is immediate. Peter T. Paul shares our vision of building excellence in all that we do, and the new building is a foundation for our continued transition," Innis said.
Paul is president of Paul Financial, LLC, a mortgage banking company he founded in 2003. In addition, he is the owner and chairman of Peter Paul Wines, based in Healdsburg, Calif., and is president of West Biofuels, a research development venture working on thermo chemical conversion of agricultural and urban residue (biomass) to biofuel and biopower. He is chairman of the board of The Headlands Foundation, a nonprofit organization he founded in 1995.
The Headlands Foundation focuses on supporting local organizations and worthwhile causes that make life better for children and their families. The foundation has given away more than $4 million, primarily in the Northern Bay communities of California, and more recently, to various community-based organizations in the seacoast region of New Hampshire. Through the foundation, Paul also has generously supported educational programs at the University of New Hampshire, Boston University and the public school systems in Marin County, Calif.
Paul is a recipient of the Ernst and Young 1999 Financial Services Entrepreneur of the Year award. He received an alumni award for distinguished service from the Graduate School of Management at Boston University in May 2003 and the first Achievement in Business Award from the UNH Whittemore School of Business and Economics in April 2008.
In 2001, Paul made a leadership gift to establish the Peter T. Paul Chair in Space Science and the Dr. Samuel E. Paul Chair in Developmental Psychology in memory of Paul's father, a well-known and highly regarded physician who practiced in Troy for nearly 30 years.
Paul serves on the board of directors of the UNH Foundation and is a trustee of Boston University.
The University of New Hampshire, founded in 1866, is a world-class public research university with the feel of a New England liberal arts college. A land, sea, and space-grant university, UNH is the state's flagship public institution, enrolling 12,200 undergraduate and 2,300 graduate students.
A high resolution photo of Peter T. Paul is available for download at http://www.unh.edu/news/img/PeterPaul.jpg.
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