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BCW Member Iona College Celebrates Opening of LaPenta School of Business

Left to right: Seamus Carey, Iona College president; Robert V. LaPenta ’67, ’00H, Board of Trustees member; and Marsha Gordon, President and CEO of the Business Council of Westchester.

Building on its legacy and launching boldly into the future, Iona College cut the ribbon Wednesday on its new $38 million LaPenta School of Business.

Robert V. LaPenta ’67, ’00H, an Iona alumnus and Board of Trustee member, laid the foundation for the new building with a transformational gift of $17.5 million, the largest in Iona’s history. Just 18 months after breaking ground, he said the project has exceeded all expectations.

“They put together a building that is going to be a beacon for the campus for the next 30 to 40 years to come,” said LaPenta. “This great facility is going to attract talented students from across the country, as well as the highest quality faculty. I can’t tell you how excited I am to be part of this amazing project.”

Designed with an iconic blend of the original, brick façade and a sleek, glass addition, the new LaPenta School of Business doubles the building’s academic space to more than 68,000 square feet, including 21 classrooms, faculty space, a lecture hall, group study space and more.

“From the shores of the Isle of Iona to the hilltop upon which our new LaPenta School of Business overlooks the City of New Rochelle, Iona’s legacy continues to be both our advantage and our future,” said Seamus Carey, Ph.D., president of Iona College, who is a member of the BCW Board of Directors.  “The LaPenta School of Business has ignited fresh inspiration as we focus on becoming national leaders in experiential and service learning, pedagogical and curricular innovation, and administrative efficiency.”

Marsha Gordon, President and CEO of the Business Council of Westchester who attended the event, praised Iona for incorporating so many eco-friendly features into the building including LED light fixtures, daylight harvesting sensors, high-efficiency boilers, low-flow plumbing, a computerized building management system, and eco-friendly building materials selected throughout.

“Congratulations to Iona College on a wonderful new addition to New Rochelle campus,” said Gordon. “In addition to being an incredible space for its students and faculty, the building is eco-friendly, something our BCW Green Business Partnership encourages.”

LaPenta, who grew up in Yonkers and is currently a resident of Westport, Conn., earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in 1967 from the business school that now bears his name. He said Iona’s legacy of providing an Irish Christian Brothers education made all the difference.

“Iona gave me the keys to open a lot of doors that would lead me to success,” said LaPenta, founding managing partner of Aston Capital Partners, a private investment company specializing in military intelligence, homeland security companies and companies involved in green technology. “You can see it in the graduates – and I hire a lot of them. Iona graduates are well-rounded, passionate about success, willing to roll up their sleeves to get a job done, and they’re ethical.”

Iona worked with industry leaders for the design and execution of the project, including Gensler, the architecture, design and planning firm; Pavarini North East Construction Co., the general contractor; and JLL, the commercial real estate, investment and project management firm, which oversaw the project development.

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