On Friday, Oregon State University celebrated the construction launch of Austin Hall, the new home for the university’s College of Business, with donors, alumni, faculty, staff and the entire campus community. In her opening remarks, Dean and Sara Hart Kimball chair Ilene Kleinsorge quickly got the crowd’s attention with the announcement that the original fundraising goal of $30 million needed in private donations had been met with a gift from donors Bernie Newcomb (’65) and Gerry Marshall.
The $50-million facility is named in honor of Joan and Ken Austin of Newberg, Ore., for their $10-million commitment to the project. Longtime donors to the university, the Austins are co-founders and owners of A-dec, Inc., a world-renowned dental equipment manufacturer. Joan Austin also is president of Springbrook Properties, developer of the acclaimed The Allison Inn & Spa. Ken Austin, graduated from OSU in 1954 with a degree in industrial and manufacturing engineering.
The late Al Reser, his wife Pat and their family, committed an additional $6 million to the project. The Austin and Reser lead gifts have been combined with gifts from additional donors and $25 million in matching state bonds.
Kleinsorge shared her excitement about the new building, as well as her pride in a college that has had a large impact on the economy of Oregon and beyond.
“Our graduates have gone on to become executives in Fortune 500 companies, established and grew family businesses into economic drivers in their community, their state and globally; and we have sent entrepreneurs into the world - to innovate, start their own businesses and establish their own success,” she said.
“Between now and the fall of 2014 when those doors to Austin Hall open, there will be more success, excitement and anticipation about the journey ahead of us and the reminiscing about what we leave behind.”
Kleinsorge also spoke to the crowd about her college’s connection with their current location, Bexell Hall, and their hopes for the future.
“As Bexell Hall has been, Austin Hall will be a tool for us to continue to evolve to meet the changing needs for business education and research in a global economy,” she said.
Business student Connor Deeks, spoke at the event about the importance of the building to himself and fellow students.
“I believe Austin Hall is the culmination of the hard work of the thousands of individuals who have learned, who learn today, and who will learn in the future within the walls of Oregon State University’s College of Business. Austin Hall will inspire students to hit the books, to study, and to further themselves professionally,” Deeks said.
“It will propel students to achieve their highest potential and will reveal to them just how far they can go with a degree from the College of Business in accounting, in finance, in marketing, in entrepreneurship, in management, or in any other filed within the realm of business.
The 100,000-square-foot facility, scheduled to open in fall 2014, will include 10 classrooms, a 250-seat auditorium, a Career Success Center, an MBA suite, a research lab, collaborative team rooms, more than 70 faculty offices, staff and program offices, team project rooms, a café and event space. THA Architecture is the architect and Andersen Construction, owned by College of Business alumnus David Andersen was the company chosen as the builder.