Gabriella DiPietro | News Editor
Fundraising millions of dollars is an achievement that many groups and organizations dream of, but the business school managed to raise $7.5 million in only 10 months.
Duquesne University’s Palumbo-Donahue School of Business has been renovating Rockwell Hall piece by piece since 2013 in order to adapt and grow alongside the ever-changing world of technology, and thanks to generous amounts of funding, they have been able to transform much of the building over the years.
During this past academic year, the business school received a number of grants and gifts that helped fund the renovation of Rockwell Hall, including a $4 million grant from Richard King Mellon Foundation, $2.5 million gift from an anonymous donor, $500,000 in gifts from friends and alumni of the school and a $500,000 grant from the Redevelopment Assistant Capital Program (RACP), Pennsylvania Office of the Budget.
Over the last 18 months, Rockwell Hall has undergone renovations on the first, fourth and ninth floors. The fourth floor, which was completed in late 2017, now features Centers of Excellence in Entrepreneurship, Professional Selling and Supply Chain Management. These centers, which include cutting-edge technology and equipment, aim to support innovative research and applied educational experiences for students, as well as promote interaction with local business leaders and entrepreneurs.
The completion of the fourthfloor and its Centers of Excellence was partly funded by the RACP grant, but much of the more recent funding will be put towards Rockwell’s next renovation project: the sixth floor.
The renovations to the sixth floor, designed by LGA Partners, are set to begin in May 2019, during which the entire floor will be gutted and rebuilt to create three new Centers of Excellence in Business Ethics, Investment Management and Sustainable Business Innovation, as well as a small café, conference rooms and spaces for students to interact.
Rockwell Hall, which has multiple entrances, is mainly accessed through the bridge that connects the bluff directly to the sixth floor. Because of that, the school also plans to upgrade or expand the bridge and add a two-story atrium to the sixth floor entrance for some additional panache.
The sixth floor project is part of a $32 million master plan for the renovation of Rockwell Hall.
Dean B. McFarlin, dean of the Palumbo-Donahue School of Business, finds that it’s important for the school’s facilities to be aligned with their strategic directions, allowing its students to get the most out of their education.
“Just having traditional fixed classrooms won’t cut it – we are pivoting to flexible, adaptable and technology-intensive spaces where students can connect theory to practice and make a difference as part of their learning,” said McFarlin. “After all, great programs require great faculty, which we have, as well as great facilities.”
As for the rest of the university, McFarlin believes all students will be able to use and benefit from these spaces, technology and equipment over time.
To contribute to the transformation of Rockwell Hall, contact Adam Viers at 412-396-1322 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit duq.edu/make-a-gift for more information.