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Univ. of Puerto Rico opens lab, auditorium with $1M Banco Popular donation

The bank’s contribution was to the Río Piedras campus’ College of Business Administration.

The Dr. Rafael de Jesús Cordero Orta Finance Laboratory and the Lcda. Ileana Colón Carlo Auditorium at the College of Business Administration at University of Puerto Rico’s Río Piedras campus have been inaugurated following a $1 million donation from Banco Popular de Puerto Rico.

The Dr. Rafael de Jesús Cordero Orta Finance Laboratory is designed for 20 students at a time, while the Lcda. Ileana Colón Carlo Auditorium spans 2,000 square feet with a seating capacity for 100 people.

“Thanks to the very generous contribution of Banco Popular de Puerto Rico, our College of Business Administration — through the Lcda. Ileana Colón Carlo Auditorium — and specifically our finance students, with the Dr. Rafael de Jesús Cordero Orta Laboratory, have at their disposal two areas that greatly enhance their academic experiences,” the Río Piedras campus’ chancellor,m Dr. Angélica Varela-Llavona, stated during the opening ceremony.

“The laboratory, with a dozen computer terminals with Bloomberg licenses, is on par with the best in the world and allows our students to have real-time access and experiences with stock markets from various parts of the globe. Similarly, the auditorium, equipped with the best in audiovisual technology, can become a virtual classroom for broadcasting classes and other academic activities to any part of the world,” Varela-Llavona said.

She added: “We deeply appreciate Banco Popular de Puerto Rico, through Popular Inc. CEO Ignacio Álvarez, for this invaluable investment in the future of Puerto Rico, with the commitment that we will carefully maintain it while working to ensure it yields and exceeds the expected benefits.”

In a news release, the financial institution’s CEO stated: “Popular is committed to education, and we are aware that the development of human capital is essential for achieving sustainable progress and prosperity for our country. We are very proud to contribute so that more students have a solid education in the finance field. 

“Five years ago, we set a goal for the development of the auditorium and finance laboratory, and today we see it become a reality. We hope that many students will enjoy this space and that it will serve as a tool to achieve their aspirations.”

UPR President Luis Ferrao, who initiated the process for the contribution in 2018 when he was the Río Piedras campus chancellor, described the inauguration as a “dream come true.”

“I thank the Popular Inc. CEO Ignacio Álvarez, and his team for lending us a hand in this effort so that these rooms are now available for the students of this prestigious faculty,” he said.

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