MONROE, La. — Representatives from the Louisiana Licensing Board for Construction Management (LLBCM) and the Contractors Educational Trust Fund (CETF) presented a donation totaling $262,000 to the University of Louisiana Monroe’s School of Construction Management during a press conference on the ULM campus Wednesday.
Vic Weston of the Contractors Educational Trust Fund (CETF), and a long-time serving member of the LLBCM, made the presentation to Dr. Ed Brayton, director of the School of Construction Management, and Dr. Ron Berry, dean of the College of Business and Social Sciences.
$100,000 of the donation came as a surprise announcement at the press conference. Weston explained that the additional funds were generated through fines levied against unlicensed contractors.
“Fines don’t go into a black hole. They go into education. So, as an end result, the contributions this year, from the Contractor’s Educational Trust Fund, are $100,000. Next year, the industry will go to the legislator and ask for a $100 fee per license, which will in essence more than likely triple [the donation]. You are doing great work for our industry and at the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about,” said Weston.
Recent funds have gone to upgraded classroom technology, creating an outdoor construction practices lab, and to various endowments and building renovations. Brayton indicated that portions of the new funds will go toward to the construction of a new ‘Don Beech Entry Hall,’ which will display all endowed scholarship recipients from the program.
“I’ve never seen any contractor association that has contributed so much as this institution. We are still moving forward. We have a 2020 plan and we are working on this plan, which includes enrollment. Enrollment is going to be up this fall,” said Brayton.
Berry stated that this was a state-wide effort, that “a lot of people have made this happen.”
“It’s gifts like we’re going to hear about today that provide the energy, excitement and the level of appreciation that our faculty need from industry,” Berry continued. “We certainly also want to thank the contractors who paid the fees that led to this gift today.”
ULM Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Eric Pani, thanked the industry leaders for their continued support of ULM construction management students and faculty.
“This all goes into the students, into the faculty, into the program,” said Pani. “It’s an investment into the future. From the University, from Dr. Bruno, from the Foundation—thank you so much for the work that you do, for the gifts that you provide, and for the input that you give to the program through your contributions in the industry advisory council.”
About the School of Construction Management
The School of Construction Management was founded in 1966 and within 10 years the school became the first institution in the country to be accredited by the American Council for Construction Education (ACCE)—accreditation that the program continues to maintain today. The School celebrated its 50th year anniversary in April.