In a festive celebration on Wednesday, September 12, Iona College announced the naming of its School of Business in honor of alumnus, Board of Trustee member and benefactor Robert V. LaPenta ’67, ’00H. The College’s AACSB accredited business program will henceforth carry the name LaPenta School of Business.
“Loyal and true to his alma matter, when Iona College calls, Bob LaPenta picks up the telephone,” said Joseph E. Nyre, Ph.D., president of Iona College. “When Iona identified a need, Bob was there to help. He accepted the invitation in 1999 to join our Board of Trustees to lead and serve Iona College. When Iona needed a new student union, Bob stepped up and said, ‘I’ll do that.’ When Iona needed a trading floor, Bob said, ‘I’ll help with that, too.’ When Iona prioritized a new business school, Bob said, ‘I will help.’ So, it is with deep appreciation and in recognition of his indelible impact on Iona College, that the Iona College Board of Trustees is so very pleased to proclaim that our renowned business school will now officially bear the LaPenta name.”
Mr. LaPenta was one of three children raised in Yonkers, N.Y., by first-generation Italian-American immigrants. Like many of Iona’s alumni and students, he was the first member of his family to attend college. He understood the power of a college education and the potential it had to transform his life. He earned his BBA in 1967 from the School of Business, which now bears his name. “I am truly honored for this distinction bestowed today,” said Mr. LaPenta, “My time at Iona College and my business degree prepared me well for success and for the ability to positively impact the lives and livelihoods of others. I look forward to seeing future students of Iona College receive a robust business education and grow into the future leaders and entrepreneurs of the world.”
Mr. LaPenta has more than 40 years of executive management experience and is currently founding general partner of Aston Capital Partners, a private investment company specializing in military intelligence, homeland security companies and companies involved in green technology. He also serves as chairman and CEO of Revolution Lighting Technologies and The Radiant Group. Previously, Mr. LaPenta founded L–1 Identity Solutions and co-founded L–3 Communications.
The LaPenta School of Business offers high-quality academic programs in all aspects of business. The undergraduate business program consists of a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a major in one of seven business disciplines, including Accounting, Business Administration, Finance, Information Systems, International Business, Management and Marketing. As of fall 2018, Iona has launched an exciting new MBA program, which is more flexible, faster, and cost-effective and requires only 39 credits to attain the degree. In addition, the LaPenta School of Business offers three specialized Master of Science degrees.
A transformational gift of $17.5 million to the Iona Forever campaign from LaPenta laid the foundation for the construction of a new School of Business building. A groundbreaking held on July 26, 2018, launched the eighteen-month build of the $37 million facility that will double the current academic space to more than 67,260 square feet and create a world-class learning environment for Iona’s students. The renovated building and addition will feature large new classroom and lecture hall spaces, spaces for collaboration amongst students and faculty, and offices for all business faculty.
William B. Lamb, Ph.D., dean of the LaPenta School of Business said, “Our new business school building is being created for the benefit of all of Iona’s students. It will provide all who study in it with the best tools, the most effective spaces, and the most up-to-date technology. And most important, it will make it possible for us to create a much stronger sense of community. Faculty, staff and students will all be working in the same building. There will be event spaces, meeting rooms where students can work with their teammates on class projects, and an atrium that will provide a new crossroads for the campus.”
“Bob LaPenta has been a loyal and staunch friend to his alma mater,” added Nyre, “and has once again transformed and enriched the lives of students of Iona College. For this we remain most grateful.”