Ribbon Cut on Business and Entrepreneurship Center

October 06, 2017

By Bob Holmes and Naomi Balk

The Business & Organizational Leadership program at Columbia International University got a big boost on Oct. 6 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new John R. Cook Jr. Business and Entrepreneurship Center.

The Center features “Launch,” a cutting-edge resource facility offering students vocational training beyond the classroom as they collaborate with local businesses and ministries on projects that will benefit both the organizations and the students. In addition, Launch houses a business incubator, a video-equipped interview skills training room, conference rooms for seminars and workshops, and internship and job placement opportunities.

The Center was made possible through a generous donation by CIU Trustee Lynn Cook in honor of her husband and his contributions to his family and business, Cook’s Pest Control of Decatur, Alabama.

At a CIU Chapel service preceding the ribbon-cutting, Mrs. Cook told CIU students, faculty, staff and guests that businesses that operate on Christian principles are valuable to communities and valuable to the work of the church.  

“We are the supporters for missions, and industry is everywhere,” Cook said. “Anywhere there are people, there is going to be ministry. We’re excited to join with you and raise up Christian leadership here at CIU.”

The featured Chapel speaker was former Krispy Kreme CEO James Morgan, who is a new CIU trustee. He challenged believers in business to take Christ into the front door of their workplace with them.

“Make a difference where you are,” Morgan said. “Make people’s days a little better, be a little more like Christ. That will be a life worth living.”

CIU students majoring in business were on hand to take part in the ribbon-cutting and to give tours of the Cook Center. Among them was senior Kyle Jones who has already started his own business, KJ Films, offering his video services for weddings, real estate and business.

“I think that (Launch) is a great opportunity for networking, gaining business skills, and preparing for the future (in business),” Jones said. “I am really excited for CIU. This is the start of something that will grow and develop as CIU grows and develops.”

Meanwhile, as the day began, James Morgan appeared on “Good Day Columbia” on WACH FOX 57 TV. He told host Fraendy Clervaud that when people enjoy their work, they help make a business successful. See James Morgan’s entire interview here. Hear James Morgan's Chapel address on CIU's Chapel podcasts.