As we continue our important work of transforming lives and elevating our communities through education, we remain committed to ensuring our facilities promote the exchange of ideas, foster innovation and provide resources that enable our students to excel in their chosen disciplines. Today, I am happy to share with you the renderings for the new home of the Gordon Ford College of Business (GFCB), found here: http://www.carolesimardlaflamme.com/businesscollege.
We have long recognized the need for a new GFCB building. Our 2021-2031 Campus Master Plan confirmed that Grise Hall, dedicated in 1967, had exceeded its useful life and identified a location on the former site of Tate Page Hall as the new home for our College of Business. In April 2022, the Kentucky General Assembly approved funding for this facility, representing the first allocation for a WKU capital project since 2014.
WKU’s association with business instruction in our region dates back to 1874 with the establishment of the Bowling Green Business University (BU). In 1963, our institution integrated the business programs of BU into our College of Business, later named to honor the generosity of former BU student Gordon B. Ford. This innovative building celebrates the nearly 150-year history of business education in our region, while also marking an exciting new chapter for our beloved university. We will break ground on this facility this summer, with plans for opening in fall 2025.
A great College of Business needs a great place in which to do business, and this new building enriches our instruction in the following ways:
- It enables us to support GFCB’s mission to prepare the next generations of business professionals through resources such as a virtual reality simulation space, trading lab with access to Bloomberg Terminals, a one-stop-shop Student Success Center and a Center for Financial Success.
- It supports the pedagogies, teaching and research of faculty and staff, as well as GFCB’s ongoing enrollment growth, while serving as the destination of choice for business education in our region. The building features flexible teaching and learning spaces conducive to multiple pedagogies, collaborative course design, research, academic innovation, curriculum enhancements and hands-on experiences. These thoughtfully-designed spaces contribute to an even more tightly-knit GFCB community that provides students, faculty and staff with a heightened sense of belonging.
- It serves as a point of pride for the WKU Community and the Commonwealth of Kentucky. The 113,000-square-foot Collegiate Georgian-style facility celebrates GFCB’s history and enhances the beauty of our campus. It boasts a three-story atrium, 21 classrooms and a food/coffee shop.
- It enriches our region’s business community. This space will foster additional partnerships with regional business leaders, increasing our role in the development of the business community in our area by offering training and credentialing opportunities. The new building also supports our regional workforce needs by offering spaces designed to further networking and job placement opportunities for our students.
I’m grateful for the work of the Advisory and Steering Committees, architects and all those who have provided input thus far. As we celebrate milestones throughout this period, we will keep you informed and, at times, invite you to participate. We look forward to our first event, a groundbreaking ceremony, this summer and will share more information soon.
Thank you for all that you do to support our students, our institution and our community.
Timothy C. Caboni
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