February 17, 2021 | Matt Kucinski

A rendering of the Calvin University School of Business building
A southeast aerial rendering of the School of Business building, courtesy: GMB Architecture + Engineering

On Tuesday, March 2, Calvin University will hold a groundbreaking ceremony for its new School of Business building. The establishment of the school was announced in spring 2020 following a $22.25 million anonymous gift, the largest single gift in the institution’s history.

The ceremonial groundbreaking, which will be livestreamed beginning at 11 a.m. EST and have a limited in-person guest list, will take place in the parking lot adjacent to the DeVos Communication Center (parking lot 14)—the future site of the Calvin University School of Business building.All in-person guests will be required to follow the health and safety protocols of the university.

On March 2, the livestream will be available here.

Expanding and enhancing opportunities

“This innovative space will not only provide greater opportunities for our current students and faculty, but it will also allow us to adapt and expand our offerings to reach new populations of students” said Ken Erffmeyer, vice president for advancement. “Our business program continues to grow both in student enrollment and in academic offerings, so to have a space like this to support this growth and advance the program’s excellent reputation is exciting.”

The cost of the building project is about $11.25 million, which includes the construction of the 15,000-square foot building that will house new offices, modern classrooms, contemporary breakout spaces, and large gathering areas. Funding to improve shared spaces in the existing DeVos Communication Center, which will connect to the School of Business, are also included in the construction cost.

The remaining funding from the $22.25 million gift will provide significant endowment funds that will be used to support the new dean of the School of Business and business faculty. The purpose of the endowment is to serve as a catalyst for a number of new academic programs intended to serve new populations of students at Calvin.

Supporting the mission

“The purpose of business is to serve by providing goods and services, meeting human needs, and promoting human flourishing,” said Michael Le Roy, president of Calvin University. “Our goal, and the donor’s intent, is to advance business knowledge and skills on a Christian liberal arts foundation characteristic of Calvin’s mission. This beautiful new space will provide a state-of-the-art environment where our students, faculty, alums, and business leaders will be able to collaborate in carrying out this important work.”

Calvin’s business program is well-respected: the Fiske Guide to Colleges has Calvin on its shortlist of 39 small colleges and universities strong in business. And the program’s reputation is animated by the way its grads embody the university’s mission.

GMB Architecture + Engineering created the architectural design and GDK Construction is managing the project, which will commence in spring 2021, with a completion date scheduled for mid-summer 2022. The goal is to have the building ready for the fall 2022 semester.

Note to media: President Le Roy will be joined by Grand Rapids mayor Rosalynn Bliss, fellow administrators and trustees, business school leaders, donors, GMB and GDK reps, and student leaders for a brief ceremony followed by a photo opportunity. 1-on-1 interviews will also be available upon request. Please email msk23@calvin.edu by Monday, March 1, if you are planning to attend in-person.

About Calvin University

Founded in 1876, Calvin University is a top-ranked, liberal arts university that equips its 3,300 students from 46 U.S. states, 66 countries, and four Canadian provinces to think deeply, to act justly, and to live wholeheartedly as Christ’s agents of renewal in the world. Calvin offers 100+ majors and programs, including graduate-level offerings in accounting, education, geographic information science, media and strategic communication, speech pathology and audiology. Calvin students engage in intensive internships, community-based service learning, and significant research that results in publishing and presenting alongside world-class faculty. The university’s 400-acre campus is located in the vibrant city of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Discover more at calvin.edu. 

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