Groundbreaking Signals A Bright Future | The Tom and Vi Zapara School of Business

As the sun began to set on a beautiful Southern California day, a crowd of several hundred donors, alumni, students, and members of the community gathered to break ground for the new Tom and Vi Zapara School of Business. Speakers including Board of Trustees Chair Ricardo Graham, Dean John Thomas, President Randal Wisbey, and School of Business student Jonathan Davidson addressed the excited guests, sharing a vision for a School of Business centered on students to shape a bright future.

Asked about the incredible response from the community of supporters surrounding these efforts Dr. John Thomas, Dean of the School of Business described it as a “team effort,” that “it is easy to not only get excited about a building, but building a school that can make a difference in the world.” Dr. Thomas’ words ring true when viewing the outpouring of support from donors to the building campaign, from the lead gift by Tom and Vi Zapara, to the new Herling SIFE Center, to the new Troesh Conference Center, all cited the students of the School of Business and the La Sierra University Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) Team as the catalyst behind their support.

Tom and Vi Zapara with La Sierra SIFE Students

“We push our students to be creative, challenging them to find solutions to the world’s problems” said Dr. Thomas in regard to his students. The School of Business frequently uses a slogan of “Why Wait?” challenging students to see that there is a whole world out there in need of creativity, innovation, and leadership, and to not wait until after graduation to put their education to work. “And we know this pays off,” said Dr. Thomas the day after the groundbreaking ceremony “We put one of our best, Jonathan Davidson, up there to speak on behalf of the students, and he already has two calls to come in for a job interview.”

Jonathan Davidson (student) Speaks to the Crowd

The guests on campus were not the only ones excited about the groundbreaking ceremony this Thursday. Several hundred others watched a live streaming video of the event, followed updates on Facebook, or joined the discussion on Twitter. Over the past year, the School of Business has emerged as one of the most active entities on-campus, keeping the community informed of and engaged in its latest activities. During the ceremony, School of Business Facebook followers were reported to have launched their own campaign to help the page reach 200 “likes”.

A countdown clock featured on the La Sierra University website greeted guests in the days before the groundbreaking event, and became the home to a new microsite, launched immediately following the event. “Along with the School of Business blog and social network accounts, this new site will be a hub for the latest information on the progress of the new Tom and Vi Zapara School of Business,” said John Razzouk, who manages inbound marketing efforts in the School of Business, “We want our community to have the same engaging experience as the Dean, the architect, and others close to the project.” The School of Business and the La Sierra University Marketing  Team have already released featured interview video clips, a photo gallery, news updates, and more to keep visitors involved. It is reported that other interviews, 3d flythroughs, live video, and a regular podcast are among featured elements soon to be released.


Join the Campaign

Excitement is not the only thing being generated about the new Tom and Vi Zapara School of Business. Supporters have already begun accessing a new online donation tool posted by the La Sierra University Office of Advancement. “Every brick, step, and moment put into the construction of this building counts, and every dollar brings us closer to creating an unparalleled learning environment for our students,” said Razzouk of the collaborative campaign launched this week by a team of School of Business, Marketing, and Advancement staff at the university. “We have been blessed by the generous support of several donors thus far, but this is an opportunity for all of our alumni, community members, and friends to be a part of the building and what we accomplish in it. Even a single dollar can make a difference.”

The School of Business plans to use this “small donation” campaign to increase the number of engaged individuals in the construction process, reconnect with a broader base of alumni, and increase involvement among students, faculty, and staff on the campus.


Keep an eye on our blog for the latest updates on the new Tom and Vi Zapara School of Business. A series of pages with news, videos, and more are available on our “Building Hub” dropdown menu.

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Categories: SB News, zaparaupdate

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One Comment on “Groundbreaking Signals A Bright Future | The Tom and Vi Zapara School of Business”

  1. Kenneth Mambo
    August 5, 2012 at 6:11 pm #

    Great job DR. Thomas and congrats to Zapara School of Business.

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