Open for Business
Jan 17, 2013
The most common response from anyone who steps into the newly renovated Grant Center is "wow."
The space, which houses the Offutt School of Business, opened for classes Jan. 9. Local media and others toured the facility Jan. 17.
The tour gave President William Craft and Dr. Greg Cant, dean of the Offutt School, an opportunity to show off the new building and tout the curriculum.
It also was a reminder that some important things haven’t changed.
"Concordia is a global liberal arts college of the church and its Offutt School rises from that deeply rooted identity," Craft said during a news conference. Later he described the business school’s curriculum as "devoted to the conviction that the work of business is inseparable from responsible citizenship and the common good."
More than 300 students major in disciplines that are part of the business school. Additional students take classes there to fulfill minor, core and elective requirements.
All are enjoying natural light that streams through the glass panes surrounding the third floor and the west facade. They benefit from state-of-the-art learning technology found in each classroom. A lounging area and study spaces also provide students with opportunities to communicate and build relationships with peers and faculty.
" It’s exciting because it’s intentionally designed to engage students and faculty in different modes of learning," said Dr. Martin Tackie, assistant professor of economics, who demonstrated how he could project slides from his iPad to an entire class.
The renovations, which included adding a story to the facility, cost $16.2 million. The building is 53,000 square feet and includes 14 classroom spaces. It is named for Ronald Offutt '64, chairman and CEO of R.D. Offutt Co. and RDO Equipment Co. He donated a substantial gift for the business school.
A formal dedication of the space is scheduled for April.
In the meantime, the new space is getting rave reviews from those who spend the most time there: students.
"It feels more professional, almost like a business setting," says Nolan Toft ’14, Nevis, Minn. "It’s nice to start feeling like I’m getting into the business world a little bit."