MBA grads step inside new building

Published 12:00 am Monday, May 9, 2005

NATCHEZ &045; Maybe the 2005 Alcorn business school graduating class should have flunked some classes.

Then, they’d have time to fully enjoy the new Masters of Business Administration building on the Alcorn State University Natchez campus. As it stands, the 23 graduates got to spend a little more than an hour in what nearly all the guests called a &uot;beautiful&uot; building.

Thursday’s reception honoring the graduates marked the first official event in the recently completed building, and for most, the first glimpse inside.

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&uot;We’re inviting them to come back and take another class,&uot; said Steve Wells, associate dean of graduate business programs. &uot;It’s hanging a carrot in front of them.&uot;

Plans for the MBA program began in 1996, with the first class starting in 1997 and the first graduates in 2000. The class that will graduate Saturday is the largest yet, Wells said.

President Clinton Bristow said they wanted the 2005 graduates to be the first to use the new building.

&uot;We are really pleased with the facility,&uot; Bristow said. &uot;It’s a state of the art facility that will allow us to expand our MBA program. The facility is not just for Alcorn State University but for the Natchez-Adams community.&uot;

Though the date hasn’t yet been set, Bristow said ASU will host a black tie gala for the grand opening of the facility.

Vice President of Academic Affairs Malvin Williams said he was hopeful classes could start in the building this summer, but would definitely be offered in the fall.

&uot;We think with the new facility we will go bigger,&uot; Williams said. &uot;This will be the first time, this fall, that the MBA professors will have private offices.&uot;

Though the building wasn’t fully open for tours Thursday, ceremony visitors were seated in the main floor entryway surrounded by glass windows and high ceilings and had a good view of the interior.

The building has not been completely furnished and equipped yet.

James Coleman was one of the first graduates of the program and said he’d seen it come a long way.

&uot;We started out in the School of Nursing with a couple of classrooms six years ago, now we are here,&uot; he said. &uot;We are truly blessed to have this facility.&uot;