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A New Era Dawns as College of Business and Economics Breaks Ground on Landmark Hall

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An exciting new chapter in the life of the Cal State Fullerton College of Business and Economics dawned on June 5, as more than 100 alumni, friends, donors, faculty and staff gathered for the groundbreaking of a new building, Landmark Hall, which will become the leadership hub of Orange County and the West Coast.  

The more than 20,000-square-foot, trilevel, state-of-the-art building situated adjacent to the business college building will greatly benefit students and the Orange County business community in the development of the next generation of transformational community, corporate and thought leaders by providing a needed space for mentoring, training, development and cultivation of the human resources of Southern California’s most prestigious county.  

As one of the first buildings on the Cal State Fullerton campus to be largely privately funded, Landmark Hall serves as a role model for infrastructure development across the campus and the California State University system.  

“Thought leadership is in our DNA. We are in the business of changing lives. And we can provide these opportunities for all students from Cal State Fullerton as the Center for Leadership finds a new home in Landmark Hall,” said Dean Sri Sundaram.

Among the dignitaries speaking at the groundbreaking were Cal State Fullerton President Sylvia Alva, Associate Vice President for Capital Programs and Facilities Management Sarab Singh, Vice President for University Advancement Kimberly Shiner, Center for Leadership Director and Management Professor Jay Barbuto, and esteemed donors and friends Terry Giles and Charlie Zhang. 

In attendance were local government representatives including U.S. Rep. Lou Correa ’80 (B.A. economics), Fullerton Mayor Pro Tem Fred Jung and Councilwoman Shana Charles, who represents the Cal State Fullerton campus and surrounding neighborhoods. Representatives from the offices of other assembly members and representatives were also on hand. Company officials from Landmark Worldwide, an internationally recognized personal and professional leadership training educational corporation, were also on hand for the groundbreaking.

Alumnus Terry Giles speaking at a podium at the June 5 groundbreaking for Landmark Hall
Terry Giles ’70 (B.A. speech communication) at the June 5 groundbreaking for Landmark Hall

Made possible through the philanthropic support of alumni and friends such as Giles, the new home for the Giles-O’Malley Center for Leadership will provide classroom space for leadership courses, meeting rooms for community leadership education with Orange County companies, a repository of the leadership materials of experts in the Erhard Institute for Leadership Studies, and so much more.  

Through the education they receive here, Cal State Fullerton students, many of them the first in their families to achieve a college education or from historically underrepresented demographics, will see a radical transformation of their life trajectories toward personal achievement and giving back to the broader community.  

“I’m so lucky to come here on a debate scholarship and see what this college and university has become over the past 50 years,” said Giles ’70 (B.A. speech communication), a donor and visionary who along with his friend Joe Moderow ’70 (B.A. economics), helped establish the Center for Leadership back in 2010. “Fifty years from now, if people want to study the work done by leadership gurus, they can come to Cal State Fullerton and the archive we have here.” 

Giles noted there are plans in the works for an annual cash prize for academics with innovative leadership research, essentially a Nobel Prize in leadership. This will revolutionize thought leadership at Cal State Fullerton and Orange County generally.  

“When people study at Landmark Hall, we want them to feel more connected, feel more capable as leaders, and realize a higher purpose for their lives,” said Barbuto. 

Sri Sundaram, dean of the College of Business and Economics smiling and shaking hands with an attendee at the June 5 groundbreaking for Landmark Hall
Sri Sundaram, dean of the College of Business and Economics

Discover more about Landmark Hall in this preview article, and see a behind-the-scenes preview of Landmark Hall on the dedicated preview website. Watch the full video of the groundbreaking online.  

Daniel Coats