Sep 19, 2013
You could get your feet massaged by socks, ease your asthma, test your blood alcohol level and indulge in sweet baklava all in one place as Westminster's Bill and Vieve Gore School of Business celebrated 25 years at the private liberal arts college in Salt Lake City. On Thursday, the school celebrated its silver anniversary by showing off some of the businesses and products developed by students.
"After finishing the first year of my MBA, I took Westminster's 'Lectures in Entrepreneurship' series. It lit a fire in my belly," said Rita Roberts Magalde, who recently opened a baklava shop, Sheer Ambrosia, in Sandy.
It was that kind of energy that started the business school 25 years ago. Westminster alumnus, Wilbert Lee "Bill" Gore and his wife Vieve started a business in their basement, eventually leading to the development of the revolutionary GORE-TEX® laminate, a waterproof/breathable fabric. When Bill died suddenly during a backpacking trip in 1986, Vieve and their daughter, Ginger Giovale, made a generous gift to establish a business school at Westminster. The Bill and Vieve Gore School of business opened in 1988.
"My parents met and fell in love on Westminster's campus, so it was deeply personal when we established the school of business in their names," explained Ginger Giovale, "I am very proud of what the Bill and Vieve Gore School of Business has accomplished over these past 25 years. The school's success is an important part of the legacy honoring the work and accomplishments of my parents."
Giovale and Jin Wang, dean of the Bill and Vieve Gore School of Business, unveiled new signage on the building that houses the school and beamed like proud parents over the more than 6,800 graduates of the school.
"Many of our graduates have become CEOs and other executive business leaders in major companies and industries contributing significantly to the regional, national and international economies," said Dr. Jin Wang, dean of Westminster's Bill and Vieve Gore School of Business. "Our students have been recognized for their leadership in innovation, entrepreneurship, job creation and service to the community."
Salt Lake City's director of community and economic development, Eric Shaw, says the Bill and Vieve Gore School of Business is a key contributor and partner supporting the economic development of Salt Lake City.
"Alumni serve as a repository of economic and business development 'know how' that is critical to the success of day to day and strategic economic activities of the city." said Shaw. "Numerous small businesses have received technical assistance from the school benefiting from the support, research and expertise of students."
Westminster student founded businesses are creating jobs. Jason Knott's company, BreathAdvisor, won a $40,000 grant from the Technology Commercialization & Innovation Program (TCIP) this year. He plans on using a portion of the grant to provide internship opportunities to students studying business and computer science.
Rita Roberts Magalde is also fueling the economy with her homemade baklava. Her shop sold out of the sticky treats on its opening day and she has long-term franchise goals.
"My advice to other students is to surround yourself with people smarter than you," said Magalde. "I'm so proud to be part of the Gore school anniversary because it's the personalized attention from wonderful professors here that's made all the difference for me."
The Bill and Vieve Gore School of Business is home to the Center for Financial Analysis, the Executive Leadership Lecture Series and the Sam and Arlene Skaggs Flight Operation Center.
The school offers graduate programs, including MBA, MBA-Technology Management, Competency-Based MBA and Master of Accountancy, as well as undergraduate programs in international business, management, marketing, aviation flight operations, aviation management, accounting, finance and economics.