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Ballards donate building for FSU's new Jim Moran Entrepreneurship School

@ByKristenMClark

Brian and Kathryn Ballard have donated a $1.1 million building in downtown Tallahassee to Florida State University for the purpose of housing the new Jim Moran School of Entrepreneurship.

The university announced the Ballards' donation today -- two months after announcing the new school, which is being funded by an historic $100 million gift from Jan Moran and The Jim Moran Foundation.

Kathryn Ballard is a member of the FSU Board of Trustees and an FSU alumna, while Brian Ballard is CEO of Ballard Partners, a high-profile lobbying firm in Tallahassee.

The building that the couple donated is a three-story, 19,000-square-foot building on Monroe Street just north of the Florida Capitol.

"We are so excited and proud to support the Jim Moran School of Entrepreneurship,” Kathryn Ballard said in a statement. “This will be a special place for FSU students, faculty and alumni for generations to come.”

FSU President Jim Thrasher said the Ballards' gift "will enable us to quickly follow through on making the Jim Moran School of Entrepreneurship a reality."

FSU said the building will undergo renovations and be ready for move-in by summer 2017. It will house offices for the school's staff and its founding director, Susan Fiorito. The school's faculty will maintain offices in their current colleges and departments on FSU's main campus.

The school is scheduled to open in August 2018.

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