The University of Southern California has officially declared its newest building open for business. On September 7, USC President C. L. Max Nikias, USC Marshall School of Business Dean James G. Ellis, and USC Trustee Frank Fertitta III ’84 and his wife Jill cut the ribbon on Jill and Frank Fertitta Hall, USC Marshall’s new home for its undergraduate business program.
Fertitta, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Red Rock Resorts, Inc. reflected humbly on his experience at the school, where he studied business as an undergraduate.
“The education I received at Marshall was invaluable,” he said. “The business insight, knowledge, and skills that I learned there are the cornerstones of how I do business every day.”
A New Landmark
Anchoring the southeast corner of University Park Campus, the five-story, 104,000-square-foot building broke ground less than two years ago. Today, it embodies USC Marshall’s growing influence on global business education. Fertitta Hall’s state-of-the-art design supports sophisticated technology, student collaboration and entrepreneurial endeavors.
The Fertitta family’s landmark gift for the building, a key milestone in the $6 billion Campaign for the University of Southern California, also established the Jill and Frank Fertitta Endowed Chair in Business Administration.
Nearly 300 people attended the ceremony, held in front of the building’s archway main entrance. Dean Ellis began the festivities by acknowledging the Fertitta family’s generosity, and the pronounced need they filled in providing more space for the school. Also in attendance were USC trustees, senior administrators, deans and business leaders who have long been associated with USC Marshall.
USC President Nikias introduced the Fertittas, and commended their contributions to the university.
“Jill and Frank understand the complex demands of business and the crucial importance of education,” he said. “They also grasp that one of the keys to success is seizing opportunities where others find obstacles.”
Fertitta Hall provides smart classrooms, lecture halls, an interactive wall, and 50 breakout rooms for Marshall undergraduate students. The Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies occupies the 5th floor, bringing faculty and clinical mentorship closer to the many students taking entrepreneurship courses. The building also houses admission, student services, and student advising.
In a nod to millennials, most classrooms come equipped with skateboard racks. Healthy eating options are offered in an Asian-inspired food court at the lobby level.
Staying in to Study
Students have already embraced the vision of community behind the building, according to Dean Ellis: “We did not want students to come here to go to class and then turn around and go back to their dorms. Rather, we wanted them to stay here, to work together in groups, have something to eat, and then go to class again. That is exactly what has happened.”
President Nikias noted that the Fertittas have forged a tradition of excellence at USC, as their three children, Victoria, Kelly-Ann, and Frank IV are all proud Trojans. Fertitta Hall helps expand this tradition, he said, by attracting the most talented business students and faculty from around the world, ensuring that the school’s ascension in rank and renown continues well into the future.
“At the end of the day, it’s not about the building,” Frank Fertitta told the crowd. “What’s important is what goes on inside the building. It’s our privilege today to give back to the institution that has given us so much.”