Jannetides College of Business & Entrepreneurial Leadership
Southeastern University President Kent Ingle announced that University Loft CEO James Jannetides has made a gift to name the university’s College of Business & Legal Studies. Effectively immediately, the college will be known as the Jannetides College of Business & Entrepreneurial Leadership. The announcement was made during the May 5 biannual meeting of the university’s board of trustees. The gift is part of the $40 million SEU Fuel the Fire Campaign.
Ingle said the naming recognizes Jannetides’ recent lead gift in the university’s capital campaign.
The business college will be housed in Southeastern’s new live/learn facility, Buena Vida, which means “Good Life.” The facility is currently under construction and is slated to open to students this fall.
“It’s the first of its kind that we know of,” said Jannetides, “a university that has an entire college inside a residence hall.” Located at the center of the campus, Buena Vida has three different food services located within the building along with classrooms, faculty offices, an auditorium and student housing. Students can sleep, have meals, meet their professors and never be late to class, all under the same roof.
“James Jannetides is an outstanding entrepreneur and business leader. He has established himself as an exceptional innovator and business developer,” said Ingle. “James is passionate about supporting higher education and the students of Southeastern University. It is our privilege to honor James Jannetides and his commitment to empowering students by placing his name alongside the College of Business & Entrepreneurial Leadership.”
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 lock down inside the bed’s storage unit or the lockers.”
Campaign proceeds will help fund construction of the four-story live/learn facility, a new administration building and a track and field facility.