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Point Park University business school changes name, adds program

Debra Erdley
| Tuesday, April 18, 2017, 10:54 a.m.

Launching what it hopes will be the beginning of a new era when it will be known as Pittsburgh's downtown business school, Point Park University on Tuesday added a new name and program at its school of business.

Officials said the Rowland School of Business has been named to honor the family roots of the late George and Kathleen White, the university's largest benefactors to date.

At the same time, the private university named longtime business professor Steve Tanzilli dean of the school of business and launched a co-op program officials hope will distinguish it from the many other university business programs in the region.

The school of business, the second-largest at the university with 850 undergraduate and about 330 graduate students, has been gradually changing the face of downtown, refurbishing and repurposing buildings for classrooms and adding living space for students.

Tanzilli said the co-op program will be open to juniors and seniors in the school of business with a 3.2 or higher grade-point average. The program will allow students to work full-time in their fields for a semester while earning a living and six credits toward graduation. It builds upon an existing internship program that allows students to earn three credits toward graduation while working part-time in their fields.

“We're trying to leverage our brand as the only downtown business school and eventually offer co-op opportunities and internships to all students. We are looking to connect more with the marketplace. We want to emphasize the practical and business skill sets students need to be employable,” Tanzilli said.

The naming of the Rowland School of Business at Point Park culminates the Whites' legacy of support and giving, which was established in 2014 with a more than $15 million bequest, the single largest gift in the university's history.

George White, a scientist and businessman, and his wife, Kathleen White, landed in Pittsburgh in mid-life and quickly became involved at Point Park. University officials said the couple supported the downtown school's vision of a renewed and vital community and served as trustees.

The business school is being named for George White's grandfather Rowland White, who grew up in the late 1800s and later owned a small hardware store in Berea, Ohio. Although George never knew his grandfather, family members said he adopted Rowland as a role model for hard work and perseverance.

“George and Kathleen's dedication and advocacy for Point Park University continues to be an inspiration to all,” President Paul Hennigan said. “Their generous gift — the $5 million endowment to the Rowland School of Business — will help support our continuing efforts to provide innovative, experiential learning opportunities for our business students. Indeed, we anticipate that the Rowland School of Business will be a national leader in business education.”

Debra Erdley is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 412-320-7996 or derdley@tribweb.com.

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