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New Partnership Brings Real Estate Topics to Campus

The Fordham Real Estate Society at the Schools of Business and FIABCI, the International Real Estate Federation, launched the first of a series of symposia with a panel discussion on how globalism is affecting the New York City real estate market. “Looking Towards 2005 and Beyond—New York in the Global Economy,” held July 29 in the 12th-floor lounge on the Lincoln Center campus, drew a crowd of more than 130 real estate professionals and students.

“Tonight’s event focuses on two pillars of what we’re all about at Fordham: New York and globalism,” said Sharon P. Smith, Ph.D., dean of the Schools of Business. “Fordham is in and of New York, and is committed to providing students with a full understanding of globalism.”

Panelist David Arena (FCO ’83), chief strategy officer at the New York-based real estate company Jones Lang LaSalle, laid out the opportunities and threats present in the New York market. First the good news.

“There is a flight to quality,” said Arena. “If you have a nice building, you will attract tenants.” And there has been a spate of corporate expansions by companies including Bank of America and Wachovia.

Countering those expansions, though, is suburban flight: city-based companies moving to outlying areas such as Hoboken and Westchester. In addition, there are continuing security concerns in the city, said Arena, and the market will continue to feel the pinch of jobs moving overseas.

Overall, Arena is bullish on the local real estate market, citing broad growth in the spring and an up-tick in gross leasing activity in the city from 10 million square feet in 2002 to 27 million already this year.

Other panelists at the event included Linda Goldberg, Ph.D., vice president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, who discussed how international monetary trends influence the New York real estate market; and Leslie Norton, Asian editor for Barron’s, who talked about how closely tied Asian investors are to the U.S. stock market.

The New York Council of FIABCI and Fordham will present seminars in January, March and May focusing on New York and a range of international topics.

— Suzanne Stevens

Schools of Business Advisory Board Takes Historic Trip to China

The BiMBA program is housed at Peking University, in what was once the summer palace of the emperor's son.

Fordham Schools of Business pledged their commitment to the Beijing International MBA (BiMBA) program during a weeklong trip to the China campus this summer. A delegation of Fordham Business faculty, administrators and advisory board members traveled to China in June to meet with Chinese students and faculty in the BiMBA program and gauge future opportunities for collaboration between New York and Beijing.

“We traveled to Beijing in recognition of the significance of globalization to our mission at the Schools of Business and the centrality of the BiMBA program to realizing that mission,” said Sharon P. Smith, Ph.D., dean of Fordham’s Schools of Business. “Together we are building an enduring global business network of skilled business leaders educated in the Jesuit tradition.”

The BiMBA program, established in 1998, is the first foreign M.B.A. program in Beijing to be approved by the Chinese government. There are more than 400 students currently enrolled and nearly 1,000 have graduated.

During the trip, Smith and John N. Tognino (ICO ’75), chair of the Schools of Business advisory board and incoming chair of the Fordham University Board of Trustees, hosted the biannual advisory board meeting, which is typically held in New York.

In addition to the board meeting, the 18-member Fordham delegation hosted panel discussions on topics including the legal aspects of doing business in the United States, capital market development in China and the global capital market from a U.S. perspective. The group, which was in Beijing from June 7 through June 12, also hosted a media roundtable for the Chinese press, visited historic sites and participated in cultural events.

The advisory board is comprised of influential business leaders who recommend curriculum changes, steer the development of innovative programs and facilitate creative corporate alliances for Fordham Schools of Business. Fordham recently named Justin Lin, Ph.D., a world-renowned economist and the founding director of the China Center for Economic Research (CCER) at Peking University, to the advisory board.

— Michele Snipe

Spanish Business Students Get a Taste of New York

A luncheon celebrating the launch of “Inside New York” was held May 27 at the Queen Sophia Spanish Institute of New York. Attending were, from left to right: Xavier Ruiz, a partner at the law firm McDermott, Will & Emery; José M. Herrero, U.S. programs director at Universidad Pontificia Comillas, Madrid; Nancy Bush, dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences; and Ronald Mendez-Clark, director of the International and Study-Abroad Program.

Students studying abroad from Madrid, Spain, were given a unique opportunity to learn about several of New York City’s top banking, business and legal institutions this summer during a three-week course titled “Inside New York.” The course, organized by Universidad Pontificia Comillas and Fordham University, brought 30 students from Madrid to New York from July 9 to July 30.

“It was a special opportunity for Comillas students to experience New York and aspects of New York business firsthand,” said Ronald Mendez-Clark, Ph.D., director of international and study-abroad programs, who helped organize the program. “Students not only had an opportunity to understand the functioning of New York’s banks, law firms and the Stock Exchange, but to also experience Fordham.”

Comillas’ students stayed at Fordham’s Lincoln Center campus for the duration of the program. During the three weeks they visited sites such as the Bank of New York, the New York Stock Exchange, J.P. Morgan Securities and the Spain U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The students were also given a guided tour of the United Nations.

Over 20 field professionals volunteered to speak to the students, including Lidia del Pozo, executive director of the Spain U.S. Chamber of Commerce; Xavier Ruiz, a partner at the law firm McDermott, Will & Emery; and Luis de Velasco, trade commissioner at the Embassy of Spain Commercial Office.

There are tentative plans for a similar program next summer.

— John Blakeley

Human Resources Made Simple

Fordham faculty and staff have a new tool to obtain information about benefits. This summer, the University launched a website,, to give Fordham employees quick access to human resources information. The site includes benefit forms and references, employment listings, frequently asked questions, quick links to websites such as the IRS, and a calendar of events.

— Suzanne Stevens

The Tea Set That Found its Way Home

In 1905, when the kitchen staff of Fordham tossed a classic pewter tea set out with the trash, it seemed unlikely that the set would ever return. But nearly 100 years later, the set, a little less polished for its age, has made its way from a small house in North Carolina back to the halls of Fordham.

The tea set was originally rescued from the University trash bin by a local farmer, who had been given permission to comb through the trash for scraps to feed his hogs. The set was passed down through his family, eventually landing on Christmas 2003 with Dianne McKinney, a North Carolinian and relative of the farmer. McKinney knew the history of the tea set and decided it should be returned to its original owner.

“I didn’t feel right about keeping it,” said McKinney. “So I contacted the University.”

The four-piece set will be placed in the University archives, where it will remain, hopefully, to be handed down through generations of the Fordham family.

— Christopher Monfette

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