Cemo Hall Augments College Synonymous with Success
Published on December 13, 2010
UH Board of Regents Chair, Chancellor and President and Luminaries
Gather for Dedication and Grand Opening of Michael J. Cemo Hall
The University of Houston C. T. Bauer College of Business marked the culmination of a journey more than 40 years in the making on Dec. 10, with the grand opening and dedication of its newest building, Michael J. Cemo Hall.
The building, a 34,000-square-foot home for Bauer College’s rapidly growing Global Business minor program and the Rockwell Career Center, is named for former UH System Regent Michael J. Cemo (’68), an ardent supporter of the university who first came to know the campus while earning his undergraduate degree four decades ago.
“I love being involved in great days at the University of Houston,” Cemo said to the crowd gathered to celebrate the building’s dedication. “This is certainly a great day, and I hope to be involved in many more here.”
Cemo, who went on to work in corporate finance for Charles T. “Ted” Bauer at AIM, was pivotal in introducing administration of what was then known as the College of Business Administration to the benefactor who ultimately gave the $40 million gift to name the college.
“A proud Cougar, Mike believed that the university was the ideal spot for a student investment center, and that UH was the perfect fit for Ted Bauer,” Dean Arthur D. Warga said. “I’ll never forget the story of how he told AIM senior management about the more than 400 UH alumni who worked in the ranks of AIM.”
Those efforts were instrumental in connecting Bauer to UH’s business school, Warga added, and the relationship between Cemo and the college has grown over the past decade, with Cemo becoming a member of the Dean’s Executive Board and providing the lead gift for a second building.
“The generosity of Mike and all who made Cemo Hall a reality will take us even further as we chart new paths,” he said. “There’s no better example of Ted’s spirit of philanthropy, his altruism and his passion than where we are standing today. Behind our efforts to grow are always the people.”
Warga also recognized contributing donors who named classrooms and the auditorium inside Cemo Hall. “Jack and Debbie Moore, John and Sharon Stubblefield, and John and Darlene McNabb were all inspired by Mike and his family to transform lives,” he said, also recognizing The Houston Endowment for its support of the building.
The world-class new building is befitting of a college that has helped to lead the growth for the university, UH System Chancellor and President Renu Khator said.
“Every time I come to Bauer, I leave saying, ‘this is the place,” she said. “Bauer is synonymous with success and quality. It houses the best and strongest programs that are touted for their achievements.”
Cemo Hall started a wave of new construction on campus two years ago, which has included Calhoun Lofts, the East Parking Garage and Cougar Village. “Everything begins somewhere,” Khator said. “Our transformation means transformation of academic programs, of course, but also transformation of physical buildings, and Cemo Hall began this journey.”
UH System Board of Regents Chair Carroll Robertson Ray (JD ’02) lauded Cemo and the other donors along with Bauer College faculty and staff for their contribution to student achievement, noting the importance of alumni involvement.
“You too can be a Mike Cemo,” Ray said to students gathered at the grand opening ceremony. “Hold on to your goals and visions. You can make a tremendous difference in the lives of people who follow you.”
Dean’s Executive Board chairman and Insperity president Richard Rawson (’72) connected Cemo’s drive and dedication to success with the college and university’s strive for national recognition.
“UH and Bauer by no means are sitting on their laurels,” Rawson said. “Neither does Mike Cemo and his family. The impact they have had on Houston and our community is tremendous. They have made a huge difference in students’ lives and in our community.”
During the ceremony, Cemo’s children, Jason and Stephanie, unveiled a portrait of their father that will hang in the lobby of the building. Warga also presented Cemo, the Moores, the Stubblefields, the McNabbs and the Houston Endowment with engraved awards, while every guest who attended the dedication took home a memento of a piece of the fossil limestone used on Cemo Hall and many other landmark structures on campus.
By Jessica Navarro