Campus News

Rockford.edu / News

Rockford University announces creation of Puri Business School

10/16/2014 12:43 pm

Rockford, Ill., –Rockford University is pleased to announce the creation of the Puri Business School, in recognition of a $5 million contribution to the University by First Rockford Group Founder and President Sunil Puri, 1982 alumnus and 2013 recipient of an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from the University. The Puri Business School (PBS) commemorates Mr. Puri’s lifetime commitment to Rockford University. It is the first named school at the University and will include the Economics, Business and Accounting (EBA) programs, along with ancillary business related activities of the University. Mr. Puri is also noted for donating the 28,ooo square foot building located just to the east of the main campus entrance (5100 East State Street) which will serve as the hub for all related PBS programming at both the undergraduate and graduate level. The Puri Business School will be housed under the University’s College of Social Sciences, Commerce and Education, led by Dean Debra Dew, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Economics, Business and Accounting Bob Evans serves as Department Chair.

Mr. Puri was born in Bombay, India and immigrated to the United States in 1979 to attend what was then called Rockford College, where he graduated in 1982 with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting. Mr. Puri takes pride in the fact that he can give back to the school to which he attributes much of his success. “From the minute he stepped on this campus as an undergrad more than 35 years ago, a fire sparked inside him that still burns bright,” stated President Robert L. Head. “As a dedicated Trustee and tireless advocate for Rockford University, he has had occasion to and has proudly promoted and protected the interests of our university; for that we are most grateful.”

The establishment of a named school is not only an important milestone for the University; it is a monumental achievement for Mr. Puri as well. He notes that this goes deeper than the act of a donation; it’s about creating a program for students in the region that goes above and beyond standard curriculum.

President also adds, “Sunil’s is a shared vision with the University to establish a school of business that will not only be envied but provide our students with a superior educational experience that prepares them for success.”

The students enrolled in the Puri Business School will benefit from expanded academic and practical application experiences that incorporate opportunities like student experiential learning, internships, travel courses, service learning and conference presentations. Mr. Puri sees the Puri Business School not just graduating accountants and business managers; he sees it producing entrepreneurs and business leaders that assist in the economic revival of his region.

“It is important to my family and me, that the Puri Business School offers not only an exemplary space where students, faculty and the community can interact and innovate, but where significant programmatic and curricular advances that will deepen the University’s commitment to advance the university and partner in the economic revival of this region,” says Mr. Puri. “The liberal arts education I received at Rockford College significantly contributed to my success and the Puri Business School is my way of paying it forward.”

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) was able to make a special appearance for the formal announcement of the school at a reception held on Oct. 3, 2014. He adds, “I am pleased to honor my friend Sunil Puri for his commitment to Rockford University as we dedicate the Puri Business School. In 1979, Sunil came to Rockford University with virtually no money or proper transcripts, but he did come with hope and tenacity. Rockford University gave him a chance and today—on his birthday no less—he’s made it clear that he hasn’t forgotten the role the school played in his success.”

Represented within the EBA curriculum that will make up the Puri Business School are several majors, minors and areas of concentration that include: Accounting, Economics, Business, Public Policy and Finance, Business, Management, Marketing, General Management, Human Resource Management, Public and not-for-profit management, Entrepreneurship and Project Management. The Northern Illinois Center for Non-profit Excellence, Leadership Development and the Adult Accelerated Degree Completion programs are also currently housed within the EBA curriculum.