The Future is Coming

USD Board of Trustees Treasurer Robert R. Dean ’94 (BBA) and his wife, Trina


This spring, the School of Business received a major gift toward the creation of a finance lab as part of the new Knauss Center for Business Education. The gift was made through the generosity of Board of Trustees Treasurer Robert R. Dean ’94 (BBA) and his wife, Trina.

“We made this gift for many reasons, but primarily as a way to show appreciation to, and belief in, the future of USD,” says Dean, whose daughters, Mackenzie ‘20 and Madison ‘21, are both Toreros. “I received so many benefits from my USD business degree, and the fact that my college tuition was almost [entirely] covered by financial aid. It was important to pay it forward. We also wanted to build positive momentum in the hope other alumni would join the effort.”

The new 84,000-square-foot Knauss Center for Business Education will unify all School of Business functions, tripling the size of the school’s space. Among the offerings will be the finance lab, active learning classrooms, seminar rooms, a graduate lounge and team collaboration space.

As a first-year student, Dean knew from the get-go that he would be majoring in business with an emphasis on finance. “Two of my favorite classes, finance and investments, and two of my favorite professors — Daniel Rivetti and Dennis Zocco — helped me find my career path. Funding and putting their names on the finance lab is a small token of appreciation and way to honor them,” Dean says of what will be known as the Daniel Rivetti and Dennis Zocco Finance Lab.

He says when looking back at his time on campus, what still stands out are the people he bonded with. Above all, he treasures “the friends and amazing relationships built during that extremely meaningful time.”

Dean is effusive about the benefits the finance lab will have for School of Business students. “A modern business school will better prepare USD graduates for the workplace environment,” he explains.

“Office buildings and working environments have changed so much over the years; the new Knauss Center for Business Education will help more business majors gain better skills with the latest technology and resources. This will not only make USD business graduates more attractive to hire, but will attract the brightest and best students to pursue a USD business degree.” Groundbreaking for the center took place in April of this year; it’s scheduled to open in August of 2022.

Dean, who is the vice chairman of the San Francisco Giants,  is heartened that the university will provide business students with the tools they need to succeed. “A Bloomberg terminal would have been an amazing tool to have in a finance classroom when I attended,” he notes. “I can’t imagine how much more learning could be accomplished with a finance lab today.” — Julene Snyder

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