Students, staff and special guests gathered at a special ceremony on Friday 25 November to dedicate newly renovated classrooms used primarily by Newbold’s School of Business, and to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the first graduates from the College’s Business programme.
The almost 300 students who have graduated from the School of Business were recognised, in addition to the some 2,800 students who have taken at least one Business module at Newbold. The first Business cohort graduated from the School in June 1987, and included current Newbold Business lecturer, John Crissey.
The work was made possible thanks to a series of generous donations to the Newbold College Business Student Alumni Society’s student scholarship fund, made in recognition of and appreciation for the “tireless work done by all the past and present staff of the School of Business”, of which there have been over 20. The fund also provides scholarships to support eligible final-year students. The money for the renovation was donated by Business alumni who are dedicated to the success of the School of Business in providing a high-quality Christian business education.
“We are very grateful for the continued financial contributions from our Business alumni to the Society,” said John Crissey, who has been teaching full-time at Newbold since 2003, and who lectures in strategic marketing and management. “It’s important for students to have high-quality educational facilities to study in, and it helps to encourage better teaching in a conducive professional environment.”
The renovation of classrooms 2 and 3 in Murdoch Hall (known as the Seminary building until 1992) was the first significant work undertaken on them since Murdoch Hall was built in 1983. Renovations included redecorating and refurnishing, which were largely undertaken over the summer by the College’s Campus and Estate Services team, led by Colin Hole. The classrooms also received new information technology infrastructure, as well as artwork by internationally renowned Russian-Australian illustrator Sergey Nivens, who is known for his use of symbols to portray business people in everyday office situations.
Newbold Principal, Dr John Baildam, spoke on behalf of the College and highlighted the School’s impressive Business graduate outcomes. “There are those work for leading firms in both the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors, such as the Red Cross, the United Nations, Swiss Bank Corporation, Florida Hospital, General Electric, and BBC Worldwide, as well as the Adventist Church, whom we are proud to call Newbold graduates,” he said. ”We are one of the most international Adventist higher education campuses, and although we are smaller than many others, we have a great impact.”
Dr Baildam also took the opportunity to reiterate that, despite rumours to the contrary, the College will continue to operate with all current curriculum areas and programmes, and with the full support of the College Board and the Trans-European Division, into the foreseeable future. He also recognised the significant contribution that both John Crissey and Marinko Markek have made to the School as they have led the Business programme in recent years.
Dr Baildam welcomed Dr Päivikki Kuoppakangas, new Interim Head for the School of Business, who joined the College in September from the University of Turku in Finland. He was positive about the expansion in programme offerings that would become possible as a result of this increase in staffing in the School.
Dr Kuoppakangas said that she was impressed with the quality of facilities available in the School of Business. “I found it fascinating that the rooms were so professional and appealing,”said Dr Kuoppakangas. “I have only ever seen such high standards and quality in board rooms at other universities. These assets help create an atmosphere of real business life, and provide a foundation for us to expand the Business programmes we offer and continue to work towards further growth and enrolment.”
Pastor Wayne Erasmus, Senior Pastor at the Newbold Church, also spoke at the event. He began by pointing out the tension that sometimes exists between the worlds of faith and business. But, he said, “the truth is that there can be much that is secular in the world of the sacred; and there can be much that is sacred in the world of the secular. The world of the Church is not all sacred. And the world of Business is not all secular.” Pastor Erasmus attributed this crossover to what is put into these worlds in terms of the thoughts, worldviews, and passion that are nurtured in the people who inhabit them.
“These rooms resonate with our belief that God calls men and women in all walks of life to join with Him in lives of grace-filled service and extraordinary generosity. That God’s greatest desire is to always bless people. He blesses in so many different ways; and sometimes he does that through places. Places such as this. Rooms such as these,” he said. “We are blessed to stand in a renewed and revitalised space made possible through the generosity of those who, in their turn, were blessed in these spaces; who began to discover in this place the spirit of service and the grace of generosity.
For more information about the Business Student Alumni Society, to donate to the student scholarship fund, or about the College’s programmes in Business, Theology, Humanities, Health and Wellness, and English Language, visit newbold.ac.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Publications and Alumni Relations Coordinator