A $7.7 million state-of-the-art facility that uses information technology as the cornerstone for teaching students real-world business theories and concepts will serve as the new home to Colorado State University’s College of Business.
After five years of planning and construction, a major renovation and expansion of Rockwell Hall is complete and will soon hold business classes for an estimated 2,800 students.
To commemorate this achievement, Colorado State University President Albert Yates and university administrators, business leaders and College of Business supporters will attend a special dedication ceremony at noon Oct. 8 in the new Rockwell Hall. Special guest is Lewis E. Platt, president and chief executive officer of Hewlett-Packard Co., an international electronics corporation with close ties to Colorado State and a major employer of College of Business alumni.
The Rockwell Hall project consisted of two phases. Phase I, completed in 1995, renovated and modernized 36,000 existing square feet for college administrative, faculty and student offices. Phase II, the main component and the most recently completed portion of the project, added a Classroom and Technology Wing that will serve as the high-tech hub for business courses at Colorado State.
"The completion of this facility represents a new beginning for the College of Business. In this information-rich environment, students will be able to engage as active participants in the learning process and will have a technology- based knowledge of business that is second to none," said Dan Costello, dean of the College of Business. "Students will be able to plug their own laptops to take notes in class and develop multimedia presentations for classroom projects. Graduates will be required to develop their own Web page resume to showcase their skills and their understanding of the high-tech business environment."
The new wing offers an additional 25,198 square feet and houses six specialized multimedia classrooms that will provide students with direct access to a world of information on the Internet as well as audio, video graphics and CD-ROM. Professors will be able to use laptop computers, VCRs and other technology to teach students real-world business concepts and applications in a high-tech and interactive setting. A 49-seat computer classroom, two presentation rooms, designated meeting space for students and an 8,000 square-foot courtyard also are new features.
Also included in the addition is the Hewlett-Packard Student Computer Laboratory, equipped with 62 computer stations. The wing also will house faculty in the Computer Information Services department and provides centralized office space for graduate students and student support services.
The additional space also enables other programs to grow into existing portions of Rockwell Hall. For example, the Advanced Business Application Laboratory, scheduled to open next spring, will be located in the existing northeast corner of the building.
This lab also is equipped with the most current technology, including full motion VCR, sound and animation, technology terminals at each station donated by HP and a camera operator station. The lab will serve as a location for on-campus groups to view multimedia presentations and other programs during the day and will be the high-tech home of the Northern Colorado Executive MBA program at night, serving local businesses via cable television as well as national and international tape-delivered programming.
Completion of Rockwell Hall, built in 1940 as a women’s dormitory, answers a critical need for space and provides considerably more access to technology for College of Business faculty and students. Previously, some of the college faculty had offices in the Clark Building, which provided only 40 percent of the space the college needed to operate. Since the college was formed in 1966, the number of business faculty and students has risen dramatically. In the last 10 years alone, the college has grown from 40 faculty and 2,000 students to 54 faculty and more than 2,800 students.
Total cost of both phases of the project was approximately $7.7 million. The Colorado Legislature allocated $4 million toward both phases. Additional funds came from 700 private donations, including a $1 million gift from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation of Los Altos, Calif. Other generous contributions came from the Higley Foundation, Hewlett-Packard Co., Ashworth, Inc., Colorado State University, the College of Business and the Colorado State Alumni Association.
Hewlett-Packard has been a strong supporter of the College of Business, providing $1.74 million in contributions to the college and the Rockwell facility. Overall, HP has contributed $11 million to the university to fund academic and research programs, technology and equipment.
"We are extremely grateful to Hewlett-Packard for the enormous support they have given us in building this new home for the College of Business," Costello said. "With their contributions and the contributions of other college supporters, we are able to produce students who are problem solvers, critical thinkers and have the technology skills major employers like Hewlett-Packard need to remain competitive.
"In fact, Hewlett-Packard recruited more College of Business graduates as employees in 1997 than any other university it recruits from nationwide. In addition, more than 700 alumni from Colorado State work at Hewlett-Packard, including a large number of business students. Those statistics speak volumes about the quality employees we provide and will continue to provide with this new facility and the high-tech environment it affords."
A brick campaign currently under way will raise additional private funds. College of Business alumni and supporters may "purchase" a brick embossed with their own special message to be installed as part of a commemorative brick plaza in the Rockwell Hall courtyard.
The College of Business is accredited by the American Association of Collegiate Schools of Business, a status accorded to only 25 percent of all business schools in the United States. Academic programs include graduate and undergraduate accounting, computer information systems, finance and real estate, management and marketing. The college also operates the Denver-based Executive Master’s in Business Administration Program and an Executive Master’s Program for Northern Colorado.
The college graduates more than 500 students with bachelor’s degrees and more than 130 students with master’s degrees each year.
In addition to attending the Rockwell Hall dedication as a special guest, HP’s Platt also is delivering the Capstone lecture as part of the 19th Annual Business Day at 8 p.m. Oct. 8 at the University Park Holiday Inn, 425 W. Prospect Road. Platt, a highly-acclaimed leader in the industry and the successor to HP co-founder David Packard, also will attend a question and answer session with students and the public and plans to tour the new facility.