SAINT LEO – Saint Leo University (www.saintleo.edu) and two of its business partners celebrated the opening of the BB&T Center for Innovation & Technology at the Donald R. Tapia School of Business Wednesday.
The center, made possible by a generous gift from BB&T Bank, encompasses the fourth floor of the School of Business building. Highlights of the center are the Cybersecurity Laboratory, which supports the teaching of the university’s new master’s degree in the field, and the Collaboration Zone, where business students work on real-world projects for area companies and nonprofits.
Tapia Business School Dean Michael Nastanski and University President Arthur F. Kirk, Jr., greeted guests. BB&T West Florida Regional President J. Kenneth Coppedge commented on the growing concern in the business world about cyber threats and the resulting need for trained cybersecurity analysts. “If I were a young person,” he said, noting the Saint Leo business students at the gathering, “this is the area of opportunity that I would want to be a part of.”
Mr. Coppedge heads a nine-county region–stretching from Hernando County to Collier County– for the banking company. BB&T places a heavy emphasis on small business banking and personal banking.
Tampa technology executive Tony DiBenedetto, who is also chairman and CEO of Tribridge, also emphasized career possibilities in brief remarks. Cyber concerns affect every company in the world, he said. He applauded the university and the Tapia School of Business for creating a program that he predicted will help students, companies, and the regional economy: “This is a really big deal to the area.”
Founded in 1998 in Tampa, Tribridge is a technology services firm specializing in business applications and cloud solutions. The firm helps mid-market and enterprise customers. The firm works with 3,750 customers.
The cybersecurity program is now offered at University Campus and will be offered online soon.
About Saint Leo University
Saint Leo University is a regionally accredited, liberal-arts-based institution known for an inclusive Catholic heritage, enduring values, and capacity for innovation. The school was chartered in 1889 by Catholic Benedictine monks in rural Pasco County, FL, making Saint Leo the first Catholic college in the state. Over its 125-year history, Saint Leo has provided access to education to people of all faiths, emphasizing the Benedictine philosophy of balanced growth of mind, body, and spirit.
Today the university welcomes learners from all generations and backgrounds, from civilian occupations and the armed forces, and from all 50 states and more than 60 nations. Saint Leo’s 16,000 undergraduate and graduate students may elect to study at the beautiful University Campus in Florida, at more than 40 teaching locations in seven states, or online from other locations. The university’s degree programs range from the associate to the doctorate. Throughout these rich offerings, Saint Leo develops principled leaders for a challenging world.