By: Gloria Ogletree
Jerry Rawls came to tailgate before the football game and to celebrate the 10th anniversary of his donation of $25 million to the College of Business on Saturday. The event took place outside the new College of Business building currently under construction.
Rawls felt the need to give back to Texas Tech in some way, and the College of Business was his choice.
"The place where I could have the biggest impact on the Texas Tech campus was to endow the business school," he said.
Rawls said the biggest impact he could have is by helping not only students, but professors as well.
"One of the things I am really proud of is that there were about 250 students who received a Jerry Rawls scholarship, and I feel really good about that," he said.
"There is a whole list of professors that have endowed professorship, that are Jerry Rawls endowed professorships; that's the impact -- the human impact."
Allen McInnes, dean of the College of Business, said the college has a bright future ahead of it.
"We want to continue the growth of our good students and our faculty, continue the growth of our graduate program; we want to double those between now and 2020 and make sure we are delivering a fine quality program to everyone," he said.
Rawls said he believes the new College of Business building will have an impact of its own.
"I will promise you that, with this new building, we will begin to attract better people," he said.
The new building will be more advanced when compared to the current business building, McInnes said.
"Technologically, it is going to be a very advanced building; we will be way ahead of the game in that regard," he said.
He said the college has worked hard to improve students' and professors' quality over the years.
"The quality of our education has gotten better because we have been able to add more quality students and professors," McInnes said.
Over the past 10 years, the college has attracted more competitive students as well, Rawls said.
"The students coming in now are getting better grades in high school, and have better SAT scores, than they did 10 years ago," he said.
People will be impressed with the new building and will want to be a part of it, McInnes said.
"When people come to the campus and look at our business school, they are going to say, 'Boy, I'd like to be there,'" he said.
The event was open to students, faculty and staff affiliated with the College of Business, said Zachery West, a junior accounting major from Houston.
"This event is for individuals that were recipients from either the Jerry Rawls scholarships, as well as student ambassadors that are present, students that work throughout the department and also the faculty and staff," he said.
McInnes said construction of the new College of Business building is on schedule and should meet its completion date.
"The building will be done by December 2011, and the first classes will be held in January 2012," he said.