(TNS) — Dozens of USC Aiken students, educators, administrators and neighbors celebrated a step forward in business education Friday afternoon, gathering on campus to dedicate the Pacer Center for Excellence in Business Research and Entrepreneurship.
The Pacer Center, with a base of operations in downtown Aiken, is designed to “provide data-driven, unbiased, rigorous research that will enhance the lives of South Carolinians, the United States, and the world,” as described on its website.
Sanela Porca, interim dean of the USC Aiken School of Business Administration, led the Friday celebration, which took place in the Business and Education Building and included a presentation of a plaque dedicating the new facility to Dr. Daniel Heimmermann, the university’s new chancellor. Heimmermann’s day, a few hours earlier, also included an investiture ceremony celebrating his status as the university’s fifth chancellor, and he wielded an oversized pair of scissors Friday to cut a ribbon to celebrate the Pacer Center’s big moment.
Among the speakers was Sen. Tom Young, R-Aiken, who took the opportunity to speak specifically to business students in attendance at the gathering.
“This is about your opportunity to contribute in business-related research that not only will help businesses in our city and our county and our region, but also statewide, because I envision that this center is going to be a great thing for USC Aiken, for you, the students, and for the business community at large,” he said.
J. David Jameson, the president and CEO of the Aiken Chamber of Commerce, made similar comments. “The most meaningful part of my college experience was a senior team project that we did, and it’s what I really felt like took everything that I had learned in every business class I had taken, and in some of the other things that I had taken to build a foundation for that. It was the time that we were able to apply that information and see an outcome.”
Collaboration involving students, faculty and businesses will offer “such a huge benefit, and the benefits will continue to exceed, I believe, all expectations,” he said. “I’m even thinking of a project or two that the chamber might have interest in having some student involvement and some help with.”
Among the students in attendance was Bobby Walters, a junior. He said the new facility will have students on board to provide staffing and other support “to try to help the community in business development.”
Porca thanked the various speakers for their encouragement and other support amid “our university’s unending commitment to provide education to our students” and expressed particular appreciation for Heimmermann’s leadership over the past nine months, amid his assessment of resources at the university and the surrounding community.
The new chancellor, she said, “found a way to expand and diversity USC Aiken’s reach,” as illustrated through Friday’s milestone moment. “Dr. Heimmmermann is unapologetic about helping our students succeed in betterment of their lives. Dr. Heimmermann is equally supportive of our faculty and staff.”
The facility’s website notes, “The Pacer Center will serve as a research, consulting, and educational training hub within the USC Aiken providing consulting, training, education, and advisory services with expertise in data mining, business analytics, cybersecurity, marketing, management, economic development, accounting, finance, business strategy and entrepreneurship to businesses, governmental organizations, and communities.”
©2022 the Aiken Standard (Aiken, S.C.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
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