By Kevin Gwinner, Head of Marketing Department
It was a great day to be a Wildcat and I hope you were able to take part. If you could not be there, let me describe it to you. On October 25th, 2013 approximately 500 alumni, staff, faculty, students, and dignitaries from across Kansas converged at the site of the soon-to-be home of the College of Business Administration. The new building will be located in a vacant field between the President’s house and Manhattan Avenue. Speeches were short and humorous, the mood was festive. Many of the alumni who have supported this monumental effort with their generous financial donations were on hand to see the ground breaking. The hard hats were purple (of course) and the shovels were silver. The band played the fight song and the Wabash Cannonball while Willie paraded around and kept everyone enthused. Following the turning of the soil, we retreated back to the east lawn of Calvin Hall for a celebratory lunch.
Here are some interesting facts about the new building. The cost of the new building is $50 million. $15 million will come from the university (most likely in the form of bonds) while the remainder is being raised from private donations. Nearly all of the $50 million has been raised. Dean Malekzadeh has done a tremendous job in this regard. Now that commitments for the building are nearly complete, the fundraising campaign enters the next phase where the priority shifts to CBA student scholarships and funding for innovative academic programs. The new building will be nearly three times the size of Calvin Hall. Currently, we are in design mode. The architectural team has been meeting with faculty, staff and other constituents to understand our needs and will be developing drawings and construction plans throughout the spring and summer. The “real” ground breaking with bulldozers and other heavy equipment is expected in August of 2014. A building of this magnitude takes two years to build, so we are planning on a summer 2016 transition into the new building. Calvin Hall will remain a campus building, but other departments in the university (as yet to be named) will move in once we leave.
We are excited to see the new building progress from ideas on paper to a functioning state-of-the-art business school facility where we will train the business leaders of tomorrow for the next 100 years.