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Photos: A naming ceremony for the new business building

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Photos and words by Hannah Brigida Infantado

 

The University at Albany made history on Thursday, Sept. 17 at the grand entry plaza with ceremonial dedication rites for the new state-of-the-art business building, unveiling its official name: the Massry Center for Business.

President Robert J. Jones began the ceremony with his speech, after unveiling the name.

“This building is a keystone in our vision to create the largest academic expansion at the university since the construction of this in the late 1960s, approximately 50 years ago. We have innovated programs like the digital program. There’s only five search programs across the country [and] we have the only one in the state of New York. We have cutting edge programs and cyber security and new innovative ideas that this school is bringing to the community,” Jones said.

The man who will be act as steward of this investment is the School of Business’ Dean Donald Siegel.

“The Massrys are shining examples for all our students. I am delighted that their legacy will live on through the naming of the Massry Center for Business,” Siegel said.

The Massrys have been dedicated investors to UAlbany; their dedication goes back more than 30 years. They have served as the largest dedicated supporters of the university, gifting $5.25 million.

“We are honoring that the Massrys have chosen UAlbany as the recipient of the largest gift that they have made to a single institution,” Jones said.

Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan also spoke, proclaiming Sept. 17 “Massry Family Day” in the city of Albany.  

Norman Massry, a businessman and philanthropist, serves as the principal in Massry Realty Partners after his father, Morris Massry. He also serves on numerous advisory committees of the University’s Board of Trustees. He and his wife Michele-Micki Massry have been named Community Laureates.

“I would like to see lots of people, lots of studying, lots of collaboration and for the school to continue to excel in the ranks and to attract the best and the brightest,” Massry said.

The café housed on the ground floor of the Massry Center also features the “Massry Caprese Sandwich,” a flatbread sandwich on Naan Bread, a favorite of the Massry family. The ceremony reception served these sandwiches as a tribute.

“We are going to try to take this money and do everything we can to enhance the student experience… If you look at this building, this a private quality school building, [ranking] fourth in the world!” Siegel said.   

Ethan Schek, a senior majoring in management and marketing, was one of the recipients of the Massry stipend who attended the event.

“I’d just like to thank the Massry family for their unwavering generosity and support of the university of Albany, and me personally through receiving this stipend,” he said.

The Massrys’ gift also supports the Massry Community Fellows Program, which funds student internships at local non-profits. The goal of the Massry Fellows Program is to strengthen community service, a hallmark of the Massry family, and public engagement, a core priority of the university.

Schek completed an internship in the marketing department at the Sidney Albert Albany Jewish Community Center this summer as a member of the inaugural Massry Fellows.

The $64 million, 96,000 square foot business building, which opened in August of 2013, boasts technologically-advanced classrooms and meeting spaces, a sunken garden area with a dining facility, a second floor “living room,”  a raised terrace for studying and major events, and breakout rooms for team projects. It also has floor to-floor terracing for maximum air circulation and natural lighting, a Wi-Fi enabled student reception atrium, collaborative research centers, and a market trading room featuring Bloomberg terminals.

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