On May 5th, during Southeastern University’s Board of Trustees bi-annual meeting, it was announced that effective immediately the university’s College of Business will be known as the Jannetides College of Business and Entrepreneurial Leadership. The business college will be housed in Southeastern’s living/learning facility, Buena Vida, which means “Good Life.” This marks the first day in history that a college of business will be housed in this type of unique setting. Southeastern University is a rising star, rapidly growing and making a marked difference in campus living.
“It’s the first of its kind that we know of,” said James Jannetides, founder and CEO of University Loft Company, “a university that has an entire college inside a residence hall.” Located in the center of the campus, Buena Vida has three different food services located within the building. Students can have meals, meet their professors and never be late to class, all under the same roof.
Kent Ingle, president of Southeastern University, announced that Jannetides has made a gift to the university’s College of Business as part of the $40 million Southeastern University Fuel the Fire Campaign. This naming gives Jannetides recognition of his recent lead gift in the university’s capital campaign.
“The College of Business and Entrepreneurial Leadership could have no more appropriate name than one honoring James Jannetides,” said Ingle. “James is passionate about entrepreneurship, but even more importantly, he is passionate about our students and their success.”
Jannetides comes from a family of entrepreneurs, with both his father and grandfathers starting businesses of their own. The idea for University Loft was formed in 1984 when Jannetides built a loft configuration for his own dorm room at Southern Illinois University. After graduation, Jannetides built his company from the ground up, furnishing college dorms across the country. University Loft currently serves more than 1,200 colleges, universities and related housing partners.
“I am humbled to be a small part of this university’s vision. It is my privilege to support Southeastern University as they grow to meet the future,” Jannetides reflected. “To see the quality of bright young people graduating from Southeastern, gives me faith in the forthcoming generation of leaders.”
Jannetides believes in the on-campus experience. “This is the best facility that I have seen in my 30 years’ experience with 1,200 plus universities. With the curb appeal of tropical paradise, the excellent staff and professors, and the outstanding student body, this is a perfect match for us to get behind.”
Jannetides went on to say, “The business college is a great place to present our prototype safe-zone furniture. It has the integration of steel and laminate with a 60-year lifespan. The most important feature is it’s upgradable to take category three bullets. If there were an active shooter on campus, the students can lockdown inside the bed’s storage unit or the lockers.”
“Jannetides’ gift represents a perfect partnership between Southeastern University and the donor,” said Brian Carroll, executive vice president. “This type of synergy ensures multiple wins – the university, the donor, the community and most importantly, the students.”
The building will last for decades to come as will the furniture inside.