UC Davis Graduate School of Management Breaks Ground on ``Green'' MBA Building

Fri Dec 7, 2007 4:30pm EST

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

DAVIS, Calif.--(Business Wire)--Wielding golden shovels, prominent business leaders joined MBA
students, faculty and alumni today to break ground on a $34.5 million
Graduate School of Management building and conference center complex
at UC Davis.

   The energy-efficient, environmentally responsible project will
help boost the profile of the nationally ranked management school and
serve as an important new venue for business and academic conferences
when it opens in fall 2009. It will also help anchor the campus'
emerging "front door" near Interstate 80, the heavily travelled
highway connecting the campus and Sacramento to the San Francisco Bay

   The UC Davis Graduate School of Management building will be called
Maurice J. Gallagher Jr. Hall, in honor of the Las Vegas airline
executive who in October pledged $10 million to support the project
and establish an endowment for the school. The adjoining conference
center will include a restaurant and meeting facilities. The complex
will also include a hotel, to be constructed separately.

   The structures will be located across from the Robert and Margrit
Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts, adjacent to the Walter A.
Buehler Alumni & Visitors Center, near the School of Law to the north
and the soon-to-be-completed Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and
Food Science to the west, and alongside a planned UC Davis Museum of

   "The Graduate School of Management is already recognized as one of
the best business schools in the country. With the completion of this
world-class facility, we will become even more attractive to top
students and faculty," said Nicole Woolsey Biggart, the school's dean.
"At the same time, the complex and its neighbors will serve as an
important hub for the region's business and public policy interests,
opening up tremendously exciting new opportunities to connect our MBA
candidates to the entrepreneurs and community leaders who help drive
the nation's 6th largest economy."

   The new management school building, conference center and hotel
will all be visible from I-80. With its easy-in, easy-out access from
the freeway, the complex "will be a great regional asset and provide
an attractive venue for the business community to get together on the
university campus," said Barbara Hayes, executive director of the
Sacramento Area Commerce and Trade Organization. "The new facility
will also solidify the presence and reputation of the already renowned
UC Davis Graduate School of Management."

   The nationally ranked UC Davis Graduate School of Management
provides management education to more than 100 full-time MBA students
on the Davis campus, as well as 184 students enrolled in the
Sacramento Working Professional MBA Program in downtown Sacramento and
165 in the San Francisco Bay Area Working Professional MBA Program in
San Ramon.

   "The Graduate School of Management already is ranked among the
best MBA programs in the country," Gallagher said in announcing his
gift in October. "But to move into the elite tier, you have to have a
world-class facility. I think the location, benefits and design of
this new building, combined with the leadership of the faculty, will
enable the school to jump up to that higher level over the next 10 to
15 years."

   Gallagher Hall, at 40,000 square feet and three stories tall, will
more than double the management school's current space on the UC Davis
campus. The school today occupies about 15,500 square feet in a
two-story building on the campus's northeastern edge.

   The school's new stone, glass and stucco building will feature
technologically advanced classrooms designed for interactive learning;
expanded space for extracurricular activities; an upgraded and
centralized student affairs and career services center for students to
develop skills to advance their careers; and an outdoor garden and
courtyard for informal gatherings and special events.

   The adjoining 42,000-square-foot, two-story conference building
will include a 7,500-square-foot restaurant, 14,000-square-foot
conference center and ballroom. The second floor will offer 20,000
square feet of space for various university administrative units.

   The Sacramento office of Sundt Cos. Inc. will serve as general
contractor. Sasaki Associates Inc. of San Francisco is the architect.

   Campus planners expect that both Gallagher Hall and the conference
center will meet the Gold standard of Leadership in Environmental and
Energy Design, or LEED, certification, which would make them among the
"greenest" buildings in the University of California system.

   Today, only four buildings in the ten-campus UC system have earned
Gold-level or higher LEED certification, reflecting energy and water
efficiency, sustainable siting and use of recycled, local and
environmentally sustainable construction materials. (Those four
include UC Davis' Tahoe Environmental Research Center at Incline
Village, Nev., which has earned the highest-possible Platinum rating.)

   The third element of the Davis campus's new Graduate School of
Management complex, a 75-room hotel, will be built separately in
partnership with University Hospitality Group, a private Davis-based

   Joining the Gallaghers, Biggart and Hayes at today's
groundbreaking celebration were UC Davis Chancellor Larry Vanderhoef,
Frank Washington, immediate past chair of the Sacramento Metropolitan
Chamber of Commerce and CEO of Moonshot Communications, and more than
200 other invited university officials, business leaders and
management school faculty, students and alumni.

   Since it was established in 1981, the UC Davis Graduate School of
Management has climbed rapidly in stature and recognition. For the
past 12 consecutive years, U.S. News & World Report has rated it among
the top 50 public and private MBA programs in the nation; it ranked
20th among public institutions and 46th overall in the latest survey.
The school also places at the top of other rankings: This year the
Financial Times rated it No. 1 in the world in the field of
organizational behavior, while corporate recruiters surveyed by The
Wall Street Journal rated it sixth nationally for preparing graduates
for technology, Internet and telecommunications careers.

   The school has also established a strong "green" reputation. The
Aspen Institute this year rated the school among the top 30 worldwide
for integrating issues of social and environmental stewardship into
curricula and research. Through the UC Davis Center for
Entrepreneurship, based at the school, MBA students collaborate with
science and engineering students and faculty, along with experienced
entrepreneurs, investors and corporate leaders, to envision a better
world and make it a reality. The affiliated UC Davis Energy Efficiency
Center focuses on the development and transfer of green technology
into the marketplace, while the Center for Investor Welfare and
Corporate Responsibility teaches students to manage socially
responsible index funds.

   For the past two years, the school's student-run Net Impact
chapter, dedicated to creating a network of business leaders who use
the power of business to create a positive net social, environmental
and economic impact, has been recognized as one of the national
organization's most active chapters.

   "Gallagher Hall will be a source of pride and inspiration, and a
center for faculty, staff, students and alums to gather, for
generations to come," said MBA student Daniel MacDonald, co-president
of Davis Net Impact. "It's particularly fitting that the facility is
being built to such high standards of energy efficiency and
sustainability, as the UC Davis Graduate School of Management
community, on the whole, is strongly committed to issues of
environmental and social responsibility."

   The University of California Regents in May approved the $34.5
million project, with $31.5 million in campus financing and $3 million
to come from gifts.

   Up to half of the $10 million pledge from Gallagher and his wife,
Marcia, will be used for enhancements, improvements, equipment and
ongoing operational expenses that will supplement university financing
for the new management school building. The balance of the gift will
establish the Gallagher Fund endowment to provide for the highest
priorities of the school, including faculty and student support and
program expansion.

   The gift is the largest from an alumnus to the university.
Gallagher, the majority owner, president and CEO of the Las
Vegas-based Allegiant Travel Company, earned his undergraduate degree
in history from UC Davis in 1971 and later received an MBA from what
is now UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business.

   Areas of the new management building will be named for other
generous donors. They include:

   --  A large tiered lecture hall to be named in honor of Ali
        Abbaszadeh, as a gift from his son, Reza Abbaszadeh, CEO of
        the Sacramento-based Premier Access Insurance Company

   --  Several offices, classrooms and other instructional spaces to
        be named for faculty and advisors of the school, including
        former dean Robert Smiley and his wife, JoAnn Cannon; Richard
        and Joy Dorf; Jerome J. Suran; Robert and Helga Medearis; Paul
        and Eva Griffin; Robert and Sandra Lorber; and Roger Akers and
        his wife Carol Waterman

   --  A central common hearth to be named for the Biggart family, as
        a gift from the school's current dean, Nicole, and her
        husband, James.

   --  And offices, conference rooms, a student lounge and other
        spaces to be named for UC Davis alumni, including Michael and
        Renee Child; Gordon Hunt, Jr.; Gary and Beth Brooks; and the
        Greg Chabrier family.

   For more information about the Graduate School of Management,
visit: www.gsm.ucdavis.edu

UC Davis News Service
Claudia Morain, 530-752-9841
Cell: 530-574-3280
Senior Public Information Representative
UC Davis Graduate School of Management
Tim Akin, 530-752-7362
Cell: 916-402-9270
Senior Director of Marketing and Communications

Copyright Business Wire 2007