The grand opening for the Scott and Linda Carson Center for Professional Development will commence at 4:30 p.m., Friday, Oct. 14. in Todd 101.

New vice president of sales for Boeing Commercial Airplanes Scott E. Carson and his wife, Linda, are investing with their family $275,000 to create and build the innovative Professional Development Center at the Washington State University College of Business and Economics.

The facility will provide students with unique resources and opportunities to put critical, nonacademic finishing touches on their education as they prepare for internships and careers in the “real world.”

“The center is designed to provide students with professional- and leadership-development opportunities that will supplement their academic programs and prepare them well for the best internship and career placements,” said former CBE Dean Len Jessup. “Thanks to the vision and continued generosity of the Carsons, this new facility will help us to prepare the thousands of future leaders that are our students today.

“Linda and I remain committed to helping students prepare themselves for a graceful and effective transition from the academic world to the professional world,” Scott Carson said. “It is critically important that students receive the tools, coaching and resources they need to begin a productive and fulfilling career. The Professional Development Center gives us an excellent opportunity to make that happen and help WSU students achieve success.”

After the room is rebuilt and furnished, the new center will feature two fully-equipped, simulated corporate board rooms where students can practice making professional presentations and two simulated executive offices where students can participate in mock interviews. There will also be a central area where they can meet and network with visiting executives, and where members of student teams and clubs can collaborate.

The center will provide services such as the videotaping of mock interviews with faculty and visiting corporate recruiters to help students perfect their presentation skills. And, students will also have coached exercises to help them build their strengths in leadership and teambuilding.

The staff of the center, led by Janel Lang, CBE director of placement and recruiting, will coordinate with the WSU Career Services office to optimize actual interview and job opportunities on campus.

Jessup and the CBE have been charged by President V. Lane Rawlins and Provost Robert Bates with leading the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Initiative on campus. It is aimed at infusing the benefits of entrepreneurial thinking and actions into all 245 fields of study on campus. Students throughout the university who participate in initiative will be able to use the new center.