MSU alumnus gives $2 million to planned Business Pavilion project
MSU alumnus Russell “Russ” Palmer, CEO of the Philadelphia-based private investment group, The Palmer Group, gifted $2 million toward the construction of MSU’s planned Business Pavilion.
The career management teams of the Eli Broad College of Business, currently two separate entities for undergraduates and graduates, will merge into one office in what will now be called the Russell Palmer Career Management Center.
The gift, donated in conjunction with Palmer's wife Wendy, was announced Tuesday via press release and is aimed at helping to generate a state-of-the-art space for students to ponder future careers.
“MSU’s new business pavilion will enhance our position to be in the forefront of helping our students to make the right career choice,” Palmer said via press release. “The new career management center will offer enhanced, state-of-the-art career services to provide comprehensive topflight means for students to research areas of employment interests, connect to alumni for advice and access, and direct them to specific companies within their geographic areas of interest.”
Palmer graduated from MSU will a bachelor’s degree in accounting, eventually becoming CEO of Touche Ross International, now Deloitte, at 37 years old. The Russell E. Palmer Endowed Professor of Accounting and Information Systems, a teaching position in the business college, is named after him.
Palmer is also a emeritus trustee at the University of Pennsylvania where he served as dean of the Wharton School, Penn’s business school.
Plans for the construction of the complex are contingent on donor funding like that of the Palmers'.
Lear Corp., a Michigan-based international automotive supplier, donated $1.5 million to the project in February. The lobby of the complex will be named Lear Corp. Lobby.
The Palmers' gift will help build the expansive project, which is aimed at reinvigorating the operations of the business college.
“Great facilities and resources are critical components of a world-class education and the Business Pavilion will position our business students to thrive after they graduate from Michigan State,” MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon said via press release. “We are grateful to Russ and Wendy Palmer for their support as we create a place for students to take that world-class business education into the job market.”
The Business Pavilion, a multi-level, 100,000 square feet, $62 million planned facility, was originally announced in October as the Graduate Pavilion for use by graduate students of the business college. Further developments forced plans to change, allowing for the planned building to be used by undergraduates as well.
Current plans, which were approved by the Board of Trustees at its most recent meeting in April, call for demolition of the west wing of the Eppley Center which will then be replaced by the new pavilion.