The Lillis Business Complex is more than a new state-of-the-art facility. It is a functional part of the curriculum, a physical presence that plays a major role in the unique approach to business education at the University of Oregon's Lundquist College of Business.
In October 2003, when the Lillis Business Complex opened, there were high expectations. But none were higher than the expectations of the students who manage and frequent the Braddock Tutoring Center. Moving from its previous basement offices, the tutoring center is now located in the first floor atrium, just inside the main glass entryway. The new spot is hard to miss.
The easily found new location has made a dramatic difference in usage, according to M.B.A. students and Graduate Teaching Fellows Clayton Jones and Santwana Singh. By midyear, more than 1,000 students had used the tutoring services at the center, compared with less than 450 students in the first half of 2003. This year Singh expects usage at the center to triple over previous years.
"It's made it really easy for students to come in and see what's going on and what kind of support we can offer them," said Jones. "It's improved our ability to reach out to more students and help them get through the business program."
Four or five tutors work weekdays between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. The graduate tutors help up to twelve undergraduate business students at a time with subjects such as business law, writing, finance, economics, accounting, calculus, statistics, and management.
Jones praised the Braddock Foundation for its support of the center. "This was something the foundation was really interested in developing," he said. "Having this new space is the culmination of their efforts and their vision for this program."
The Braddock Tutoring Center was established at the Lundquist College of Business in 1995 as one of the earliest activities of the Braddock Charitable Foundation. The tutoring center provides free tutoring, mentoring, and writing assistance to undergraduate business students and student groups. The staff includes M.B.A. and MAcc students who share their specialized business knowledge in all undergraduate business and accounting subjects.
The Lillis Business Complex - made possible by the generosity of alumni, friends, and the Oregon business community - was designed from the ground up to facilitate the Lundquist college's experiential approach to learning. Since opening, the Lillis Business Complex has offered students and faculty much more than four stories and 196,500 square feet of space. The abundant technology features include wireless Internet access throughout the building, state-of-the-art multimedia equipment, and a distance-learning classroom outfitted with teleconferencing technology. Energy efficiency and sustainable design are apparent in features such as occupancy censors that continually maintain appropriate levels of heat and lighting.
Each day the Lillis Business Complex demonstrates the sentiments of donor Gwen Lillis, Ph.D. Gwen and her husband Chuck Lillis, Ph.D. '72, former MediaOne Group chairman and founding partner of LoneTree Capital, gave $14 million for the Lillis Business Complex, named in their honor. At the opening ceremony Gwen said, "What will go on in this building is much more important than the building itself. It must now house an uncompromising pursuit of excellence." And so it does.