Wake Forest University’s combined Schools of Business said Friday that a New Jersey real estate financier has given $10 million to help erect a building to house them.

The gift comes from Mike and Mary Farrell of Summit, N.J., parents of a 2010 WFU graduate. Mike Farrell is chairman, chief executive officer and president of Annaly Capital Management Inc., the largest listed residential mortgage real estate investment trust on the New York Stock Exchange, the school said in announcing the gift.

The Farrells’ pledge is the largest commitment so far to the Schools of Business, the university said.

“The Empire State Building, the Rockefeller Center – these things were built during the Depression when people didn’t think they were achievable," Farrell said. "When people are confused, scared and concerned about direction, you need to send a strong message that we can’t stop thinking about the future. We need to make sure we have the right leaders in place, and places like Wake Forest create those leaders.”

The business schools’ building will be named Farrell Hall, the announcement said. In naming the building, the Farrells also are paying tribute to Mike Farrell’s late father, Michael John Farrell, a maintenance engineer who worked for the New York City Transit Authority, Wake Forest explained.

The Calloway School of Business and Accountancy and the Babcock Graduate School of Management merged during the 2008-2009 academic year to form the Wake Forest University Schools of Business.

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