Groundbreaking For Cemo Hall Marks Fulfillment of Dream For UH Alumnus

Ceremony June 5 honors Michael J. Cemo; $9 million building to feature lecture hall, academic center

Students who possess entrepreneurship skills are more valuable than ever in the workplace. Few people understand that better than Michael J. Cemo, a University of Houston alumnus, a former UH System regent and a successful businessman who is the retired president and CEO of AIM Distributors Inc.

Nearly 30 years after graduating from the University of Houston, Cemo remains fueled by Cougar pride, especially where the UH Bauer College of Business is concerned.

The longtime Houstonian provided the lead $3 million gift for an additional building for the C.T. Bauer College of Business. The building, to be named in his honor, will be formally recognized at a groundbreaking ceremony at 3 p.m., Thursday (June 5) at the college. UH System Board Chairman Welcome W. Wilson Sr., UH System Chancellor and UH President Renu Khator, Bauer College of Business Dean Arthur Warga and Cemo are among the dignitaries who will deliver remarks at the event.

The multistory 33,000-square-foot Michael J. Cemo Hall will feature a 450-seat auditorium, three 80-seat classrooms and faculty offices. It also will contain three vital services for students: a satellite of the University's Writing Center, a testing facility and the Elizabeth D. Rockwell Career Services Center. Construction is expected to begin in August, and the anticipated opening is June 2009.

"We are not celebrating a building because it will bear my name," Cemo said. "We are celebrating the positive impact that Cemo Hall will have on many generations of students and the University of Houston. The building also represents an opportunity for those of us here, whether we are alumni, friends or business partners, to help us grow what I believe to be Houston's finest business school and one of the finest in the country, the C. T. Bauer College of Business."

Cemo's gift will not only help business students, it will also serve as an important cornerstone of the "new look" campus. Complemented by the graduate student loft apartments that will be constructed by 2009, the hall is an important addition to a university that is undergoing significant change.

Cemo Hall will be adjacent to Melcher Hall, the current home of the Bauer College of Business, and the soon-to-be-constructed Calhoun Lofts, a new residence hall. The academic center will provide much needed classroom space for Bauer and will serve as the home of the rapidly expanding Global Business Minor program.

"The impact of this building to our students will be immeasurable," said Arthur D. Warga, dean of the C. T. Bauer College of Business. "We are proud that the building will be named in Mike's honor. By being a home for Global Business Minor classes, Cemo Hall will also elevate our college's profile in supporting Houston's role as a truly global city."

A Houston resident for more than a half century, Cemo earned his bachelor's of science degree in economics from UH in 1968.

Cemo was president and CEO of AIM Distributors, Inc., the retail-marketing arm of AIM Management Group Inc., and a director of AMVESCAP PLC until his retirement in January 2004. His community activities include board memberships in the Houston Museum of Natural Science and the Society of the Performing Arts, and formerly the Association for Community Television. He also is president of the Michael and Rebecca Cemo Family Foundation.

In 2002, he was named a Distinguished Alumnus of the Bauer College of Business.

In addition to his work on the Board of Regents, Cemo's involvement with his alma mater includes membership on the Dean's Advisory Board for the Bauer College of Business and serving on the Board of Managers of the Cougar Investment Fund, LLC, a multi-million dollar investment fund managed by students of the business school.

WHAT: Groundbreaking for Michael J. Cemo Hall
WHEN: 3 p.m., Thursday, June 5
WHERE: C. T. Bauer College of Business
University of Houston
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