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    November 05, 2021

    Madden School Announces Its Fourth Center of Excellence: The Walter & MaryAnne Poland Jesuit Center for Research and Teaching Innovation

    Thanks to a generous gift of $1 million from Walter Poland ’66, the Madden School of Business has established a fourth center that will focus on faculty research, innovation and thought leadership to deepen global engagement and societal impact. The Walter & MaryAnne Poland Jesuit Center for Research and Teaching Innovation will build the intellectual infrastructure and faculty capacity, skills and knowledge needed to strengthen the research culture within the Madden School.

    “My hope is that the center will nurture and support significant types of research within the broader business field,” said Poland. “In these emotionally charged times, there is a need to focus on the rational debate and discernment that can come from research. Le Moyne played a significant role in my personal and professional development and I am honored to be able to give back to my alma mater in such a meaningful way.”

    “The establishment of a research center is a significant and strategic step in the life of a business school and I’m grateful to Walter for his tremendous support,” said Madden School Dean Jim Joseph ’83. “It will also increase faculty exposure in academic journals, which will help to not only expand the reach and influence of the Madden School but also serve to recruit new faculty to the College.”

    Serving as the inaugural director of the Poland Center will be Professor Martha Grabowski, the McDevitt Distinguished Chair in Information Systems and the Information Systems Program Director.  “I'm deeply honored and very excited to lead this next chapter developing the Madden's School's research capacity and capabilities,” said Grabowski.  “The Walter and MaryAnne Poland Jesuit Center for Research and Teaching Innovation will enable us to reach even greater heights, with new research, innovation and discovery. I can't wait to continue this journey with our great colleagues at Le Moyne and at other institutions, and with our partners in the community and around the world!”

    Poland has been engaged on several initiatives with the Madden School for the past several years, including serving on the school’s advisory board and being involved with the Dolphin Green & Gold Fund, LLC. He retired in 2017 as special assistant of global affairs at Tompkins Cortland Community College (TC3), capping a nearly 50-year career at the institution. Considered one of the “founding fathers” of TC3, his career began as director of student affairs in 1968, moving to dean of students in 1976, and vice president of global initiatives in 1998. In his 17 years as vice president, he spearheaded the development of an extensive global connections program that resulted in partnerships with 90 universities around the world. In addition, for 35 years he was TC3’s chief negotiator for its contracts with faculty, administrators and civil service staff.

    Poland transferred to Le Moyne after receiving his associate’s degree from Corning Community College, graduating in 1966 with a bachelor’s degree in sociology. “As a transfer student I had to fit all the necessary philosophy and theology credit hours into two years. But it turned out to be the most significant intellectual encounter I had during that stage of my life. I learned skills that I used constantly throughout my career, especially in my collective bargaining work. Fairness, respect and rational thought all helped me develop a process to determine what the real issues are rather than the emotional crust that’s often presented.”

    Married for 54 years, his wife MaryAnne passed away in 2020. “She was an interested investor and active in the market and I was able to do this because of her investing philosophy.”

    The Poland Center is the fourth named center of excellence within the Madden School; the other three are:

    ·       The Savage-McGill Center for Reflective Leadership.

    ·       The Keenan Center for Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Creativity. 

    ·       The Hetterich Center for Global Engagement and Impact.

    Learn more about these centers here.

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