News & Events
Udac Purchases Former Duluth Business University (DBU)
Announces the “Joseph and Nancy Bullyan Center for Udac”
For Immediate Release
Contact: Monica Hendrickson, 218-348-2268
DULUTH, MN JUNE 26, 2018 - Duluth is known for its robust non-profit sector, philanthropic spirit and partnerships that fuel innovation and change. And today’s announcement is no exception. Beloved community leaders, Joseph and Nancy Bullyan, gifted Udac with a generous $3MM gift in order to purchase a new building. Closing on the former Duluth Business University (DBU) building at 4724 Mike Colalillo Drive, Duluth, MN, occurred on Thursday, June 21, 2018 and plans are underway to begin transitioning the agency to its new facility.
“Joseph and Nancy Bullyan’s gift is transformational in support of Udac’s mission and vision.” States Karen Herman, Executive Director of Udac. “We are truly thankful to Joseph and Nancy Bullyan, their gift is beyond generous. This gift will allow Udac to create new programming and enhance existing services to better serve individuals in developing the skills and the knowledge required to help local businesses solve their employment needs.” Mike Dosan, Chair of the Udac Board of Directors added, “Joseph and Nancy Bullyan are not just serving people today, they are serving many generations to come. This gift is a tribute to the thoughtful and caring people the Bullyan’s are and to the people they are helping. We cannot say thank you enough.” The new building will be called The Bullyan Center for Udac.
Udac’s mission is “to Challenge disability, to create opportunity and to cultivate success” in people with disabilities of all types. For nearly 50 years Udac has worked to provide life skills, job training and supported employment for adults with cognitive and physical disabilities across the lifespan. The purchase of the DBU Building, which was built for a mission of education, will allow for improved and expanded training for these individuals.
Herman has been engaging with area business leaders to determine employment needs and is evaluating the current business services that Udac offers. Udac’s business customers currently receive customized job development, business mailing, confidential shredding services and customized packaging and assembly services. But Herman says they are exploring ways to diversify their revenue stream and further support employment initiatives in Duluth’s thriving tourism and hospitality industry among other opportunities.
When asked why this legacy gift was given to Udac, Nancy and Joseph Bullyan’s answer was simple “It just felt right.” The generous gift allowed for the building purchase that is in the heart of the Bullyan family heritage. “I grew up in the west Duluth neighborhood and Mike Colalillo and I were great friends,” stated Joseph Bullyan, “Nancy grew up in this neighborhood, too. I knew the very first Executive Director of Udac and I am so glad that our family legacy will be one that helps further advance and support individuals with disabilities develop the skills they need to be successful and to find jobs.”
The purchase of the building is just the first step before Udac can call it home. Over the next few months there will be inspections, licensures and adaptations to the building such as accessible doors for ease and safety of accessibility for all. The target date for opening the Joseph and Nancy Bullyan Center for Udac is the Fall of 2018.
For nearly 50 years, Udac has supported individuals with disabilities. Today, the center offers life skills, job training and supported employment to adults with cognitive and physical disabilities across the lifespan. Udac’s vision is “to create a community where opportunity is accessible to individuals of all abilities; one person, one career, one possibility at a time.” www.udac.org