College of Business launches bold new vision

New learning complex provides foundation for engaged learning

by Bill Wyatt


James Madison University has embarked on a bold new campaign to support its new College of Business Learning Complex.  President Jonathan Alger, College of Business Dean Mary Gowan and leaders of the College of Business Board of Advisors announced that the university has raised more than $7 million toward their goal of surpassing $15 million for the new learning complex that will continue their efforts in innovation, collaboration, creativity and entrepreneurship.

“The addition of the College of Business Learning Complex is a perfect example of JMU working toward its goal of being the national model of the engaged university,” said President Alger.  “As it’s designed, this new complex will be a national showpiece for engaged learning and the team-based approach to business education that will keep our graduates on the leading edge.”

The College of Business is currently housed in Showker Hall located in the Lakeside area of campus.  Showker Hall opened in 1991 and was designed to accommodate 2,400 students.  Today, JMU’s College of Business has an enrollment of more than 5,000 students.  The new 166,000 square foot addition and renovation will provide:

  • New and refurbished classrooms, including problem-based classrooms;
  • Informal student gathering areas;
  • An expanded capital markets lab;
  • Space for JMU’s award-winning, industry leading Digital Marketing Program;
  • Cutting-edge technology;
  • Reserved space for recruiters;
  • A tutoring laboratory;
  • And much more.

“We are being very intentional about our future learning complex,” said Dean Gowan.  “We envision an environment where people can learn together and where the spaces can evolve as business and business education evolve.”

JMU announced plans to construct a new College of Business learning complex as part of its strategic plan released in 2014.  The College of Business’ Board of Advisors has continued to champion the cause leading the effort to make the complex a reality.  Board of Advisors Chair Jarl Bliss (’84), president of Lincoln Military Housing, believes that the new learning complex is essential for the College of Business to continue its success as a top-ranked undergraduate business school.

“We need this new building in order to give opportunities for new technologies, new areas for collaboration and new programs that will allow the university to continue its growth,” Bliss said.

University and College of Business leaders are encouraging individuals to become College of Business visionaries by committing $2,020 to the project.  Interested individuals or organizations can visit the CoB2020 website.

“It’s exciting,” said Nick Langridge, vice president for University Advancement at JMU.  “We are grateful for the early leadership gifts that have helped get us to $7 million so far.  Now it will require both a collective movement of visionaries committing to gifts of $2,020 and more leadership gifts to help us surpass our $15 million goal.”

The learning complex is currently in the design phase with plans to break ground at the beginning of the 2018 – 2019 academic year.  The learning complex is slated for opening in time for the 2020 – 2021 academic year.

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Oct. 29, 2016

Published: Saturday, October 29, 2016

Last Updated: Thursday, January 4, 2018

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