Wednesday, July 1, 2015
STU Names New Building After Local Business Leader / Construction of New School of Business Building to Begin Soon
On July 1st, the St. Thomas University Board of Trustees and President announced that former Trustee and prominent businessman, Mr. Gus Machado, pledged $5 million for the Blueprint for Leadership Campaign – the University’s ambitious plan to cement its position as the best Catholic university in the Southeast. Mr. Machado’s generous gift – the single largest gift to-date to the University – provides the cornerstone of the construction funding to provide current and expanded business programs in a new, state-of-the-art School of Business facility. Alumnus, Trustee and distinguished business executive Jorge Rico pledged an additional $1 million, jumpstarting the project.
Mr. Machado’s legacy of business leadership and philanthropic support will be recognized through the naming of the Gus Machado School of Business at St. Thomas University.
For more than thirty years, Gus Machado has been a recognized entrepreneur, successful executive and philanthropist in the South Florida community. A former member of St. Thomas University’s Board of Trustees, Gus Machado came to the United States from Cuba in 1949 and attended military school in North Carolina. A visionary businessman, he owned a series of car dealerships until he acquired his first franchise in 1982, Gus Machado Buick. Today, he is President of Gus Machado Ford and continues to lead his company to multi-city success. Mr. Machado, and his wife Lilliam, are a major force in Florida philanthropy, supporting many charitable organizations.
“Supporting our future business leaders means the world to me,” said Mr. Machado. “Being able to make that happen at St. Thomas University – a University that has a reputation for providing an excellent educational experience and developing the next generation of ethical business leaders – is an opportunity I am very pleased to be a part of.”
The twenty-first century facility will house the institutes of Global Entrepreneurship, Cybersecurity Mangement, Trade and Logistics and Sports Administration, as well as other business programs, and have an open architecture, green design that will feature multi-purpose spaces and combine robust technology with functionalities that will help students learn real-life business practices. Interactive Smart Classrooms with specialized software, audience response technology, networking and audio/visual capabilities, as well as a Trading Room, a Global Conference Auditorium, the Student Business Incubator, and a Communications and Media Lab, are among other innovative spaces.
“Gus Machado is a name well respected in our community. His generosity will allow our institution to offer a first-class business education in a first-class, values-based, multipurpose environment,” said St. Thomas President Rev. Msgr. Franklyn M. Casale. ”Thanks to Mr. Machado’s gift, as well as the generous donation by Trustee and alumnus Jorge Rico, the new Gus Machado School of Business at St. Thomas University will empower our business students to meet business challenges with free market solutions and excel as ethical leaders in the global marketplace.”