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Festivities galore for grand opening of Lindner Hall

Events attracted Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, members of the Lindner family, alumni, supporters and overall UC community to the new home of the Carl H. Lindner College of Business

The third week of September had been circled, underlined and highlighted in calendars across the Carl H. Lindner College of Business and the University of Cincinnati campus for quite some time. The college’s new home at 2906 Woodside Drive was abuzz from Sept. 18 through Sept. 21 to host the many supporters, donors, alumni, friends and guests of the college to celebrate its official ribbon-cutting and grand opening through a series of high-energy events.

“The past several years have been leading up to this occasion,” said Lindner College of Business Dean Marianne Lewis. “While this is the launch of a new era for the Lindner College of Business, it’s also a time to express our heartfelt thanks to our supporters and all who enabled this opportunity.”

a group of people stand outside a large building on a red and black carpet

The Grand Opening Gala attracted many donors and elected officials to the new Carl H. Lindner Hall on Wednesday, Sept. 18. / Left to right: Peter Landgren, Phil Collins, William C. "Wym" Portman III, Craig Lindner, Carl Lindner III, Martha Lindner, Dean Marianne Lewis, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, UC President Neville Pinto, Jennifer Pinto, John Cranley, Margaret "Peg" Valentine, Thomas Mischell, UC Provost Kristi Nelson.

The suite of events kicked off with a grand opening gala on Wednesday, Sept, 18. Those in attendance included Carl Lindner III and S. Craig Lindner, sons of the college’s namesake, Carl H. Lindner Jr., as well as Ohio Gov. Mike Dewine, University of Cincinnati President Neville G. Pinto, and UC Foundation President Peter Landgren.    

The main event, the ribbon-cutting ceremony, was held on Thursday, Sept. 19. Members of the UC Marching Band and Cheer Team greeted hundreds of visitors, students, faculty and staff they entered the new Lindner Hall on red and black carpets. DeWine, Pinto, Lewis, Craig and Carl Lindner III each gave remarks from a podium on the building’s grand staircase. Attendees watched seated in chairs on the atrium floor or by standing along the mezzanines of the three upper floors.

The past several years have been leading up to this occasion. While this is the launch of a new era for the Lindner College of Business, it’s also a time to express our heartfelt thanks to our supporters and all who enabled this opportunity.

Marianne Lewis, PhD Dean, Carl H. Lindner College of Business

“Two years, four months and two days ago, we stood out on Sigma Sigma Commons to break ground on a new Lindner Hall,” said Pinto during his remarks. “As we gathered under that tent, we visualized what the new building would look like. But today, we don’t need to use our imagination anymore.

"This new facility adds luster to our acclaimed campus,” continued Pinto. “It gives us a world-class building for our students, faculty and business community to thrive. It enhances the momentum of the college’s astounding growth in enrollment and gains in rankings and reputation. It emboldens our faculty, staff and students to aspire for greater impact.”

a man in a suit speaks at a clear podium in front of four other adults

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine shared remarks at the ribbon-cutting on Thursday, Sept. 19.

DeWine shared how the occasion was about the future, and no one cared more about the future than Carl H. Lindner himself.

“What always impressed me about Mr. Lindner is that he was always looking toward the future,” said DeWine. “He wanted to know where we were going. He had ideas about how we could move our state and country forward. That vision is something for us all to remember today.”

Carl and Craig Lindner each spoke about their father’s legacy and how the new building underscores the college’s importance to the regional business community.

a man in glasses and a red tie speaks at a clear podium with four adults sitting behind him

Craig Lindner expressed his pride that American Financial Group and Great American Insurance Group employ a large contingent of UC graduates.

“We can see how this building will transform learning and teaching for generations of Lindner students,” said Carl Lindner III, who serves as co-chief executive officer/co-president and director of American Financial Group and CEO and majority owner of FC Cincinnati. “My dad valued people and relationships. The contemporary and open design of this building encourages relationships and collaboration and facilitates innovation and creativity.”

“We are privileged to partner with the Lindner College of Business through co-op and mentoring programs — at any given time we employ more than 70 co-ops or interns,” said Craig Lindner, who serves as co-chief executive officer/co-president and director of American Financial Group. “This is a visionary learning environment that will help the business school climb in rankings and help bolster the University of Cincinnati and the region as a hub of innovation and exceptional talent. Thank you for this great honor today for my father and for our family.”

My dad valued people and relationships. The contemporary and open design of this building encourages relationships and collaboration and facilitates innovation and creativity.

Carl Lindner III Co-Chief Executive Officer/Co-President and Director, American Financial Group, and CEO and Majority Owner, FC Cincinnati

On Friday, Sept. 20, members of the Business Advisory Council (BAC) convened in the new Lindner Hall for their semiannual meeting. The BAC is comprised of business leaders from the Greater Cincinnati region and national business community who represent small, medium and large companies in public, private or family-owned sectors. Members are appointed to three-year terms and typically meet twice a year to advise college leadership to strengthen the quality of programs and the college’s overall reputation.

a young man in a suit and tie speaks at a clear podium in front of three other adults

Chandler Rankin, BBA '20, spoke at the Lindner Career Services Center ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday, Sept. 20.

Following the BAC meeting was another — although more intimate — ribbon-cutting for Lindner Career Services Center, located in the Bourgraf family executive offices in the new Lindner Hall. Elroy (El) Bourgraf, BBA '54, donated $1 million to the college because of the significant impact UC's co-op program had on his life.

“The core mission of what we do is to connect all Lindner students with employers for both Lindner Professional Experiences (co-ops and internships) and full-time opportunities,” Lindner Career Services Director Kevin J. Hardy shared during his remarks. “This generous gift from El and Elaine Bourgraf provides the space to help us better serve students as we connect them to potential employers.”

Nine interview rooms are included in the new Career Services Center, which employer partners can use when interviewing Lindner students.

“As one of the many Lindner students who benefit from this very center that we are celebrating today, I would argue that being a student at this time is more exciting than any other time in the university’s 200 year history,” said Chandler Rankin, BBA '20, undergraduate student body president.

Finally, Saturday was a day especially for Lindner alumni. Nearly 200 attendees gathered in the atrium and main auditorium to reconnect with former classmates, meet Dean Lewis and break into smaller groups to hear from different students about their unique experiences pursuing a business education at Lindner.

about 75 people sit at round tables in a large atrium, conversing among themselves

Nearly 200 alumni gathered at the new Carl H. Lindner Hall for the Alumni Open House on Saturday, Sept. 21.

“UC’s long and proud history is not so much about an institution, but rather about people with bold ideas, who do bold things,” Phil Collins, member of the UC Board of Trustees, shared with the alumni in attendance. “As we celebrate 200 years of the University of Cincinnati and the start of this new chapter for the Lindner College of Business, we also look ahead to what we can do next.”

Alumni Open House guests could embark on interactive tours throughout the building for hands-on examples of classroom technology such as the simulated trading floor in the Johnson Investment Counsel Investment Lab. They could also visit the Lindner Legacy area, a designed space dedicated to celebrating the life and legacy of Carl H. Lindner.

Featured image at top: Several donors, supporters and members of university administration cut the ribbon to officially open the new Carl H. Lindner Hall on Thursday, Sept. 19.

Left to right: Peter Landgren, president of UC foundation; Janet Johnson; Tim Johnson, founder of Johnson Investment Counsel and namesake for the college's Johnson Investment Counsel Investment Lab; Ohio Governor Mike DeWine; Frances Lindner; S. Craig Lindner, co-chief executive officer/co-president and director of American Financial Group; Marianne Lewis, Dean, Lindner College of Business; UC President Neville Pinto; Carl Lindner III, co-chief executive officer/co-president and director of American Financial Group and CEO and majority owner of FC Cincinnati; Elroy (El) Bourgraf, BBA '54, chariman of Ferno Washington and namesake for the college's Bourgraf family executive offices where the Lindner Career Services Center is located; John Goering, founder of the UC Goering Center for Family and Private Businesses and namesake of the John and Gloria Goering Lecture Hall in the new Lindner Hall; Kristi Nelson, Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost. Photo/UC Creative Services

About the Carl H. Lindner College of Business

For more than 110 years, the Carl H. Lindner College of Business has been committed to developing the next generation of business leaders. Through personalized career coaching and experiential learning, Lindner students graduate with a competitive advantage in the workforce and are strongly positioned to address a multitude of today’s global business challenges. The college has not only served as a catalyst for innovation and cutting-edge research, but its programs have also earned national acclaim in several academic areas.

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