By Ed Brennen
Getting his first look inside the new Pulichino Tong Business Center, Bao Tran ’06, ’15 stopped to consider what the technology-rich building means for today’s Manning School of Business students – and for alumni such as himself.
“The Bloomberg terminals and the Trading Room, this is all very relevant,” said Tran, a Lowell native who earned his bachelor’s degree in finance and his MBA from the Manning School and now works as a private equity fund administrator for State Street Corporation in Boston. “In today’s world, in finance and accounting, it’s all about stocks and trading and private equity.”
When he was a graduate student, Tran said, a professor told him that the new state-of-the-art building would boost the value of his degree.
“And he’s right. A building like this is tremendous. This is awesome,” said Tran, who was one of more than 70 Manning School alumni to attend a recent Pulichino Tong open house, which featured a reception, student networking and résumé reviews, as well as building tours led by Manning Student Ambassadors.
“Any time we can bring students and alumni together, it’s a great event,” said Manning School Dean Sandy Richtermeyer, who used the occasion to introduce guests to faculty and staff, including new Assoc. Dean Jennifer Percival. Richtermeyer also highlighted the school’s growth, with total enrollment approaching 3,200 students.
As a member of the Manning School’s Advisory Board, alum Mike Zuccaro ’83 was already familiar with the new building (his signature is on one of the beams). But he used the open house as a chance to show off the building to his fiancée, Ellie Carlson.
“The technology and ability for students to learn in that kind of environment is just spectacular,” said Zuccaro, who earned his degree in business administration and management from the school and is now director of financial planning and analysis at Anika Therapeutics in Bedford. “As an alum and contributor to the university, this is something I’m very proud of – and it’s really what compelled me to come back here tonight.”
While students hustled to their evening classes below, alum Ron Cannistraro ’72 watched night fall over the UMass Lowell campus from the top floor of the building.
“I love it. It’s a beautiful building. And the view is unbelievable,” said Cannistraro, who, along with his wife Carol, was visiting the Manning School’s new 54,800-square-foot home for the first time.
The Chelmsford native recalled taking night classes in Cumnock and Southwick halls to earn his management degree from Lowell Tech while working at Raytheon.
“It’s nice to see for students,” Cannistraro said, before adding with a chuckle, “I wish I could have had something like this.”