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The Peter J. Tobin College of Business at St. John’s University Begins New Era

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Marking exciting momentum for The Peter J. Tobin College of Business (TCB), 100 members of the University community, faculty, staff, alumni, and members of the Board of Trustees and Board of Governors gathered to celebrate the dedication of the Lesley and William Collins Business Analytics Lab and the Paul and Carol Evanson Career Services Center on Wednesday, October 4, at the newly renovated home of the Tobin College on the Queens campus. 

“Thanks to the generosity of Lesley and William Collins and Paul and Carol Evanson, today St. John’s University can serve our students in a way that would not otherwise be possible,” said Robert A. Mangione, Ed.D., Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, in his welcoming remarks. “With their gifts, the Collins and Evanson families have created both innovation and academic advancements at the Tobin College that will prepare our students for enriching lives.”

“Three years ago, I had a dream that we would have a modern business school building for our students, faculty, and alumni to develop a professional identity of what a renowned business school should look like,” said Conrado “Bobby” Gempesaw, Ph.D., President. Dr. Gempsaw then thanked Peter P. D’Angelo ’78MBA, ’06HON, a generous benefactor to St. John’s and former Chair of the Board of Trustees, who also helped make that dream a reality.

“With these two new facilities,” noted Dr. Gempesaw, “Bill and Lesley and Paul and Carol have made a lasting difference in enhancing the academic and experiential learning for our students to ensure their success.”

The Lesley and William Collins Business Analytics Lab features an LED stock market ticker around the perimeter that measures 76 feet. The space also contains state-of-the-art technology for real-world experiences for students, such as 40 workstations with 27-inch monitors with multiple Bloomberg Terminal licenses.

The Paul and Carol Evanson Career Services Center is an 831 square foot space where students can be guided in making career choices and recruited by employers while they “experience the joy of working with their peers,” noted Dr. Mangione.  

“This modern building is the centralized home for academic rigor in business and serves as a beacon,” said Norean R. Sharpe, Ph.D., Dean, Joseph H. and Maria C. Schwartz Chair, and Professor of Decision Sciences, The Peter J. Tobin College of Business. “It sends the message that the Tobin College of Business is well-poised to recruit talented students and faculty in keeping with the top business school programs in the United States.”

At a dinner that followed the blessing of the two spaces and a ribbon cutting, attendees had the opportunity to hear from the donors themselves and a first generation St. John’s student who is the recipient of the Evanson Family Partners for Student Success Endowed Scholarship.

“I am the daughter of hardworking Mexican parents who instilled in me from a young age that hard work is important to being able to achieve our life goals and dreams,” said economics major Diana Solis ’20TCB. “My journey to achieving success would not be possible without the generosity of St. John’s benefactors and, most specifically, Paul and Carol Evanson. You are inspiring today’s students to give back when it is our turn to do so.”

“I, too, received a scholarship to go to St. John’s, and I was also the first to attend college in my family,” said Mr. Evanson, ’63CBA ’10HON, a Trustee who is the retired Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Allegheny Energy. “While the business school here prepared me for many roles in the business world, St. John’s gave me a solid Catholic education infused with the Vincentian spirit of service—something you can’t easily find at other schools.”

“This is an exciting time for the Tobin College of Business,” said Mr. Collins ’76C, ’12HON, current Chair of the Board of Trustees and Chief Executive Officer, Brencourt Capital Management. “We have a new building to house our business school, a new dean who we will look to lead us from good to great, and we have a renewed sense of commitment to excellence. Most important, we are committed to student success under the leadership of President Gempesaw. All the stars are aligned. This is the start of the ‘St. John’s decade.’”