A ribbon cutting ceremony and building blessing took place the morning of Tuesday, January 26 to mark the opening of La Salle University’s brand new, state-of-the-art School of Business building. Students began attending classes in the new space one week prior.
“In my inaugural address, I stated we would build the vision for La Salle University together, and that it would be a vision of faith, of hope, of commitment to the future, and of service to our students and community at its very heart, and it would belong to all of us,” remarked La Salle University President Colleen Hanycz. “This building is a testament to our faith and commitment to the future of our students’ successes, both in their careers and in contributing to the common good, and to justice. It supports the Lasallian tradition of learning that is rigorous, experiential, ethical and inclusive.”
One of the most significant projects in the history of the University, construction started on the $35 million, 87,000-square-foot facility in September 2014. Thanks to a highly collaborative effort, the building was completed on time just 16 months later. The project was funded through the University’s $20 million investment and $13.2 million to date in philanthropic support from alumni, faculty, staff, parents and friends, including a major gift from Mr. and Mrs. Edward Fierko. Mr. Fierko, an alumnus of the School of Business, also serves as vice chair of the Board of Trustees for La Salle. “We are grateful for the full engagement of all our constituents; the impact of this generosity is visible throughout the school” said Cathleen Parsons-Nikolic, the Vice President of University Advancement.
The new building fosters innovative group learning with fully customizable classrooms, breakout spaces and conference rooms which students can reserve in real-time, and a Sales Laboratory that simulates a real-world office environment. Gary A. Giamartino Ph.D. and Dean of the School of Business said a cafe will also open soon on the ground floor.
“This new academic building is one of the most technologically advanced in the nation,” said Giamartino. “Every inch of its 87,000 square feet has been designed to facilitate a Lasallian business education, providing emphasis on mentoring, collaboration, globalization, service, inclusivity, and learning by doing.”
“It’s exciting to see the all the technology and other amenities—the open spaces, simulation labs, and breakout rooms—that will foster an environment of collaborative learning, academic innovation, globalization, and teamwork required to succeed in today’s business world, as well as make significant positive impact in our communities,” said Stephen T. Zarrilli, ’83, Chair of the University’s Board of Trustees.
The University’s Career Services office – serving students from all three schools – has also relocated into the new building on its main level and will enhance the overall experience for students and potential employees as they seek mutually beneficial partnerships.
MarySheila McDonald, Associate Dean of the School of Business, emphasized how faculty offices are interspersed with classrooms on every floor, so professors are exceptionally accessible to students. And unlike traditional business schools, faculty from marketing, accounting, finance, international business and more can be found on the same hallway, not isolated in their respective departments, to facilitate the exchange of ideas and promote academic innovation.
A true beacon at the corner of Wister and Chew, the exterior architecture with its sweeping windows revealing the learning and collaboration inside makes a statement that La Salle is part of the community, and not separate from the community.
A formal grand opening and dedication to recognize building donors will be held in late spring or early fall.