A ‘Building for the Future’

Marlon Castillo | New University

The Paul Merage School of Business will expand with a new building and mark UCI’s 50th anniversary.


Members and friends of the UC Irvine business community gathered outside the Paul Merage School of Business last Wednesday to celebrate “Building for the Future” and the groundbreaking for a new Merage School building, which will be built between the Social Science Plaza and the existing Merage building.

The Paul Merage School of Business first opened its doors in 1967 originally as the Graduate School of Administration, later becoming the Graduate School of Management. It received its current name in 2005 after a monetary donation by Paul Merage.

Chancellor Michael V. Drake expressed his excitement for the groundbreaking and significance the new building will have for UCI going into its 50th anniversary.

“We’re also at a wonderful moment in our history,” he said. “In 2015, we will be celebrating our 50th anniversary, and what better way to celebrate that than cutting the ribbon of the building that we are going to do the groundbreaking for today?

“We are really preparing now for the beginning of the second half of our first century, and this building will be the thing that really allows us to celebrate in grand style.”

Daniel Aldrich III, son of UCI founder Chancellor Daniel Aldrich, said he was pleased with the amount of support from the community, in particular the donations from private and corporate sponsors.

“We’re pleased to have a new building to allow us to grow and create more opportunities for students and more connections with community members, and all the other things the business school does,” he said. “The state isn’t funding new buildings at the university like they used to, so we are very privileged.”

Paul Merage appeared with his family at the groundbreaking event and spoke of the decision to invest in the UC Irvine community in 2005 and, in hindsight, how it was a successful venture.

“It was a bet on the future of a lot of young men and women who would go through the school for years to come and who could be the future business leaders of our community, as well as our nation,” he said.

“Like any other business venture, you don’t really know what’s going to happen. But I can tell you that nine years later, there’s only one word to describe this in terms of the results that have been achieved, and that is fabulous. Fantastic.”

Merage also likened Dean Andy Policano’s leadership to that of Moses leading the Israelites into the Promised Land. The only difference would be that Dean Policano would actually be present once the journey was over.

“I think what you’re seeing here today is just a terrific bonding of what I call the Merage family,” Policano said. “It’s what happens when you get a great group of people together, and I think collectively we have accomplished some amazing things. I guess the Red Sea is out there somewhere.”

Marlon Castillo | New University

The 78,000 square foot Merage School building will feature a high-tech 300-seat DLC auditorium; several of the Merage School Centers of Excellence; the Charles Schwab & Co. Inc. trading and technology lab; and the 70-seat Lyman Porter Colloquia Room. An outdoor terrace will also be available for pre- and post-function events.

The building will also feature the Experian 70-seat and 90-seat case-study classrooms; the Coroporate Partners Executive Conference Room; the Judy Rosener multipurpose classroom; and 20 small group study rooms.

Two new restaurants, a 4,000 square foot “grand terrace” overlooking the new courtyard and plenty of indoor/outdoor dining space will be available as well.

For more information on the new Merage School building, visit http://merage.uci.edu and look for “Building for the Future.”