by Dr. Elizabeth Clarke

Louisiana College announced the Ray and Dorothy Young School of Business and its proposed Master of Business Administration to a packed Granberry Auditorium in October.

Community leaders and LC Board of Trustees were in attendance as President Rick Brewer, joined by key donors, spoke of the plans for launching the MBA.

“Having an MBA, I know the value of it,” Brewer said. “I know as we are advancing our school beyond college to university status, more graduate programs are key.”

Brewer recognized several key donors who made this development possible.

The Young School of Business is named for Ray and Dorothy Young, of Wisner, longtime supporters of business and agriculture in Louisiana. Ray Young is a Korean War veteran, farmer and agricultural consultant, and former Louisiana College Board Trustee.

The Youngs’ significant contribution jump-started the project, Brewer said.

“They love the Lord; they love this school; they love the students,” Brewer said. “They want to invest in the kingdom and in perpetuity have an impact for the kingdom work.”

The Youngs said their admiration for LC was their primary motivation for their monetary support.

“We were explained the need and could see the need, and we have the feeling that the leadership here at Louisiana College was such that it could be done very efficiently and effectively, and we were glad to have a little part in this,” said Ray Young.

Ray Young said there is a great need in the state and region for more programs for students with a Christ-centered worldview.

The faith-based design for LC’s MBA was led by Dean Kenny Holt, who holds a doctorate from the University of Memphis and comes to LC with more than 30 years of experience, and will provide a distinctively unique educational experience for marketplace leadership.

“This is a momentous occasion, and it would not be possible without kingdom stewards like the Youngs and their generous gift,” Holt said. “It will affect the lives of our students in central Louisiana and all around the world, as we prepare our students to be lifelong ethicalleaders. That’s one of the key objectives of the program.”

Other notable support has been provided by Central Louisiana Community Foundation and CHRISTUS Health Systems.

Liz Mileshko, president and CEO of Central Louisiana Community Foundation, spoke on how this graduate program fits with the mission of the organization, which is to connect people to priorities they care about and increase charitable giving to advance the quality of life for all in Central Louisiana.

CHRISTUS Health Systems donated $150,000 to advance the MBA at LC.

“We are only as good as the individuals over the departments,” said Chris Karam, president and CEO of CHRISTUS St. Frances Cabrini Health System, of his administrators. “Those leaders, those directors, what we find quite often is that those individuals are great clinicians, great at what they do — and we can educate and train them to be even better. We know it’s [LC’s MBA program] going to make a difference.”

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