New School of Business academic building beam-signing event marks a milestone

May 10, 2023

lauren jerram, a redhaired female business student, leans over the beam to sign it and leave a note

A milestone moment for the School of Business was celebrated on May 9, with the collective signing of a commemorative steel beam to be installed in the school’s new academic building.

The innovative, 79,000-square-foot facility will soon rise as part of South Quad on the Mount Carmel Campus.

At the current School of Business building, Business Dean Holly Raider thanked those who gathered to help celebrate an important point in the project. The new building is anticipated to be completed during the 2024-25 school year.

“I hope it makes it seem ever-real that we are indeed building a new home for the School of Business. A new home where ultimately what will be most important is what goes on inside the building — the imprint that you put on the future of business education and the learning and experiences that unfold in that space,” said Raider.

Liz Bender, Quinnipiac’s director of capital planning and construction, said the commemorative beam will be installed this summer. Bender, who is also a building committee member, said she is honored to have been with the project from the point of planning. The master plan for the project was developed in 2020.

Raider also thanked Quinnipiac's Board of Trustees for its support. The new School of Business is one of three new buildings approved by the board last year to create the South Quad’s innovative, modern learning and living spaces. The South Quad will also feature a general academic building and a 417-bed residence hall.

Raider thanked building committee members, previous School of Business dean, and professor of finance Matt O’Connor for his vision, leadership and years of advocacy in support of developing a new academic building for the school.

“We have been advocating for this for many years,” said O’Connor, who served as dean from 2009 through 2021. “I think everybody in the business school – faculty, students, alumni – are all really happy this is finally coming to fruition for us. It’s great for the university as a whole; and a special place for everyone in the business school.”

Features of the new building will include a business innovation hub for future business leaders and entrepreneurs to use as an incubator to build and test new ideas; a financial technology center with cutting-edge trading platforms, investment tools and data systems; faculty offices; and flexible lecture and event space with seating to accommodate up to 150. An environmentally conscious central energy plant will be housed below the new School of Business.

Also planned for the building is a coffee café experience with a focus on local roasters and local products, said Chartwells district manager Toby Chenette. Chenette is also a member of the building committee.

“It’s exciting for us. Similar to the building, we’re going to build this concept from the ground up and make sure it fits the community and the business hub,” said Chenette.

Quinnipiac professor of management and medical science Angela Mattie was among those gathered to celebrate the progress of the new building.

“I’ve been here for over 20 years, and I think the building will do so much for faculty and student interaction. Thank you to our wonderful dean for making it happen,” said Mattie.

Raider said the new School of Business building will support a set of four design principles intended to serve the following goals: to act as a magnet for students, faculty and staff from around campus, to foster interconnections and create occasions to work across disciplines and ideas, to be inclusive, open and accessible to all types of learners in the community and to ignite ambition in School of Business students.

“It’s also got what I call frisson,” said Raider. “It really sparks people to want to be ambitious and to unleash our ambition in the space.”

Working with student committee members, a student survey is in production and will be distributed to gather feedback from students to help promote inclusivity within the planning process, Raider noted.

Applied business major Lauren Jerram, ’24, MBA ’25, came to the event to sign the beam with a wish of good luck for future Bobcats. She said her act was also a way to represent not only herself as a School of Business student, but others who graduated before her.

“I think it’s really cool to have a part of me left behind after I leave; especially because I have family who went here, so it’s kind of a tradition,” Jerram said. “I did a similar beam signing when I was in high school, and it’s really nice to know that my name is there, even if I’m not.”

Cameron Davignon, ’22, MBA ’23, took a break from finals work in the team study rooms outside to come into the School of Business Innovation Hub and sign the beam. He’s earned a bachelor’s in finance and will earn his master’s of business administration.

“I think the School of Business program is growing a lot, and to be a part of the history, and know that your name is going to be on something that is going to grow for the future, is pretty cool,” said Davignon.

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