Missouri State University broke ground two years ago on a project to renovate and expand its business building. Thursday, the university held a grand re-opening of Glass Hall, which houses the College of Business, and a dedication of the Robert Gourley Student Success Center.
The 40,000-square-foot expansion, features a state of the art finance and trading lab, entrepreneurship and sales labs, corporate interview rooms, a production studio and full-service café. Other features include the Marlin Think Tank for Creative Thinking in Business, collaboration spaces, a 36-seat executive boardroom, an outdoor terrace and executive classrooms. Glass Hall, which was dedicated in 1988, got a complete renovation. The total cost of the project was $35 million.
“The newly renovated Glass Hall facility and the dedication of the Robert Gourley Student Success Center ensures that our students will have cutting-edge technologies, state of the art facilities, classrooms and collaboration spaces that will prepare them for successful careers in business and as citizens of the world,” said MSU President Clif Smart.
Dr. Stephanie Bryant, dean of MSU’s College of Business, said “the new space is designed for students to have hands-on experience in their fields so when they get ready to graduate and get their jobs, they are ready to compete.” She told the students in attendance at the ceremony, “This is for you. All of this is for you.”
According to Bryant, they started the project five years ago by looking at MSU’s strategic plan, which “Should always inform what your facilities are. Bryant said, “if you say that you want to be global. If you say that you want to have transformational education, then your facilities have to reflect that.”
The building was named in 1987 for David D. Glass, former president and CEO of Walmart and a 1960 MSU graduate. He provided the founding gift for the then-new business building. Glass attended the event to celebrate the project’s completion Thursday with his wife, Ruth, and was clearly impressed with the finished results.
“This is spectacular,” said Glass. “It’s a little bit overwhelming just to see how all this turned out, beyond my imagination. And I saw it under construction when my son and I were here in February. Even then you couldn’t envision the way this would look.”
According to Glass, the MSU College of Business has gone from a modest beginning to world class. “You won’t find anything any better than this anywhere, and it’s a credit to the people who have made it happen, and the students who will get educated here have an unbelievable opportunity,” he said.
MSU student body president and College of Business student, Brandon McCoy, said the renovation and addition will impact students’ success for years to come.
MSU student body vice-president and College of Business student, Caitlin Schafer said, “this facility means we have the space needed to collaborate, innovate and become prepared for our future careers with tangible resources that we did not have before.”
Robert Gourley, an entrepreneur and 1960 graduate of MSU and for whom the new Student Success Center is named, attended the ceremony with his wife, Marlys. Gourley told the audience he’s very proud of MSU. “We got our money’s worth then. We’re getting our money’s worth now,” he said.