The E. Claiborne Robins School of Business received a $6 million donation last month from an alumni couple to help fund the proposed $16.8 million new business school building.
Paul B. Queally and Anne-Marie Flinn Queally, both 1986 Phi Beta Kappa graduates of Richmond, made the donation through their Paul and Anne-Marie Flinn Queally Family Foundation in hopes of making a difference in the new business school by bringing real-life experience to the curriculum, Paul Queally said.
The construction is expected to begin between late 2008 and early 2009, said John Hoogakker, associate vice president for facilities. The completion date is set for the fall of 2010.
Business school Dean Jorge Haddock said the 33,000-square-foot addition would be called Queally Hall. It will include a new finance trading room, an extended atrium, bigger spaces for group study, a cafe and a 225-person auditorium. Offices, meeting rooms and more classroom space will also be located in Queally Hall. The addition will stretch from the business school toward the main entrance of campus, Haddock said.
The new space will allow for much more collaborative learning within the business school, as well as larger group study areas, Haddock said. Several of the new features, including the cafe and auditorium, will be used by the entire campus community, as well as by the local Richmond community, Haddock said. It is also expected that the addition will help strengthen the Robins School of Business's local and global connections with the business world, he said.
Haddock said this addition would allow for all of the business school professors to be housed in the same building. There are currently 12 business school professors with offices in Weinstein Hall, he said.
Because of its proximity to the main entrance, the new building will have an impact on the overall architecture of the school, Hoogakker said. The official design concept of the building has not yet been finalized, but will be consistent with the concept study that has been published.
"Because it will be one of the first buildings you see when entering campus, it needs to represent the university well and carry a lot of the character and inspiration of the university," Hoogakker said.
In conjunction with Queally Hall, the business school will feature additions to the curriculum geared toward simulating real-world business experience, with a specific focus on finance, Queally said. He said three new courses would be introduced that would be based on the study of Richmond's endowment. The course will focus on asset management, asset allocation models, hedge fund management and investments, Queally said.
The courses will initially be taught by the current business school professors, but the business school might bring in new professors in the future depending on availability, he said.
"No other university will have this kind of intensive learning experience in terms of endowment studying, and that's fantastic," Queally said.
Another program that would be unique to Richmond, if implemented, would invite between 25 and 50 Richmond students to collaborate in a business environment, Haddock said. Called "Q Camp," the program would be a weekend-long intensive polishing of the students' professional skills held in the Richmond area. The program is set to be piloted this spring, Haddock said.
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Queally graduated with a degree in economics from Richmond, and he said he spent much of his time at Richmond inside the business school. Queally has remained involved within the Richmond community and the business school, specifically by serving on the Spider Management Board, the Endowments Management and the Board of Trustees from 1999 to early 2007.
"Richmond, to me, was what a university should be -- small classes, teachers that are there to teach first and research second, teachers who are willing to establish personal relationships with their students, and that's what drove me," Queally said.
The business school is currently ranked 23rd in the nation for undergraduate business schools by BusinessWeek Magazine. Queally said that when envisioning the prospect of the new business school, he asked himself how Richmond could move into the top 10 undergraduate business schools.
"We're going to get to the top 10 through innovation," he said. "I look at the asset world and the study of asset management, and nobody's really doing a good job of that in the undergraduate world. It's going to continue to be a world-class institution, and it's only going to get better"
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