KPMG Foundation and Virginia Tech alumni commit $2.5 million toward Global Business and Analytics Complex
July 29, 2020
Virginia Tech will name the KPMG / Lynne and Ben Doughtie Undergraduate Programs Suite, within its planned Global Business and Analytics Complex, in recognition of a recent $2.5 million commitment toward the project.
The naming, per approval by the university’s Board of Visitors, will highlight the positive impact on the university made by Lynne Doughtie, her family, and KPMG, the firm for which she served as U.S. chairman and CEO from July 2015 through June 2020.
“We are extremely grateful to the Doughties, KPMG LLP partners, and the KPMG U.S. Foundation Inc. for this generous gift, which brings our Global Business and Analytics Complex one step closer to completion,” said Virginia Tech President Tim Sands. “This facility will provide tomorrow’s leaders with the skills they need to analyze complex data and help solve problems faced by businesses and communities around the world.”
The Global Business and Analytics Complex will add four buildings to Virginia Tech’s Blacksburg campus. The complex is a major element of the university’s strategic push to build on its expertise in data analytics and decision sciences — areas that are quickly reshaping many aspects of how people live, work, and make critical choices.
“One of the most significant issues facing the business community is the need to continually innovate and apply new technologies — both internally and with clients — to address the profound opportunities and challenges presented in today’s digital economy,” Lynne Doughtie said. “It will be critical for the up-and-coming workforce to understand data, analytics, AI, robotics, and more. Our aim is for students to get grounded in the curriculum that will be offered through the Global Business and Analytics Complex so they can hit the ground running when they begin their careers.”
Doughtie was the first woman elected to head KPMG’s U.S. firm and the first woman to serve as both chairman and CEO for one of the Big Four professional services firms. Along with KPMG, that group is comprised of Deloitte, EY (formerly Ernst & Young), and PwC (also known as PricewaterhouseCoopers). A 1985 alumna of Virginia Tech’s Pamplin College of Business, Doughtie said she has drawn from her university experience at all stages of her career.
“I came to Virginia Tech from a small town as the first person in my family to go to college,” said Doughtie, who now lives in Powhatan, Virginia. “Virginia Tech wasn’t as big then as it is now, but believe me, it sure was huge to me. Despite its size, what stood out was how it provided a family-like atmosphere with values that mirrored those I was raised with. I was in a new and unfamiliar environment that soon became home. Since then, I’ve found myself being provided opportunity after opportunity to be challenged and to grow, personally and professionally. And each and every time, I’ve drawn strength from my Virginia Tech experience. I’ve stayed involved in the university, and I give back, because I want to make sure tomorrow’s Hokies can build on their experience just like I did. I want them to know their horizons are only limited by their imagination, attitude, and willingness to work hard.”
Joining Doughtie and her husband in making the naming gift were several Pamplin alumni who are KPMG partners, including Chris Xystros, managing partner for the firm’s Norfolk, Virginia office.
“There is a very special bond between Virginia Tech and its alumni,” said Xystros, a 1984 alumnus of Pamplin. “As Hokies, we look for ways to give back and make a difference for our beloved Virginia Tech, and our KPMG alumni partners are no exception, as they stepped up and gave generously in support of the Global Business and Analytics Complex. This project is transformative for Virginia Tech and will cement the university as a world leader in developing talent and methods for data analytics as a critical element in addressing problems faced by industry and society. I know I speak for all KPMG Hokies when I say that I am extremely proud that Lynne Doughtie, a fellow Hokie, rose to the top of our firm and served us well as chairman and CEO. We are equally proud to join with Lynne in making this commitment in support of Virginia Tech’s Global Business and Analytics Complex.”
The four-building complex is expected to consist of two academic buildings and two residential buildings for living-learning communities. Construction of the first of the two academic buildings is scheduled to begin in November. As envisioned, the KPMG / Lynne and Ben Doughtie Undergraduate Programs Suite consists of nearly 3,500 square feet within the second of the two academic buildings planned for construction. Among other functions, the second building is expected to serve as the new home for Pamplin.
KPMG is one of the leading employers of Pamplin graduates. The college and firm have a history of strong academic-industry partnerships, including other initiatives focused on data analytics.
“This prominent naming highlights the distinguished record that Lynne and her fellow Hokies at KPMG have of staying involved and giving back to higher education,” said Pamplin’s dean, Robert Sumichrast. “Our college, and the university as a whole, is much stronger thanks to people like them.”
The Global Business and Analytics Project is one of six major university-wide priorities within Boundless Impact: The Campaign for Virginia Tech, which launched in October 2019. Doughtie is one of the campaign’s three co-chairs. She was Virginia Tech’s University Distinguished Achievement Award honoree for 2018.
“I hope our gift will accomplish three things,” Doughtie said of the naming gift. “First, I really hope it provides an unsurpassed environment for students to learn how to use data to make better decisions so they are prepared for a workplace that will require them to know how to use and interpret data in ways that are smart, efficient, and effective. Secondly, I hope that it helps to position Virginia Tech as a true leader in this education space. And finally, I hope it inspires other donors to give generously, as this is such an important investment in our future.”