Duquesne Business Initiative Receives State RACP Funding

New Centers Aimed at Connecting Theory to Practice

The Pennsylvania Office of the Budget has awarded a $500,000 grant from the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) to facilitate the completion of a more than $3 million renovation of the fourth floor of Rockwell Hall, home to the Palumbo-Donahue School of Business at Duquesne University. The 8,000 square foot floor will be home to three "Centers of Excellence" in entrepreneurship, professional selling and supply chain management.

"The Centers of Excellence will address the need to think strategically and creatively in terms of job creation-rather than job elimination-as a more intelligent, well-developed solution to economic challenges," said Ken Gormley, Duquesne University president. "We are grateful for the state's support on this important endeavor, which will benefit students and the corporate community alike."

Scheduled for an official opening in spring 2018, the centers are designed to support innovative research and applied educational experiences for students as well as promote interaction with local businesses and entrepreneurs.

"This will offer outstanding opportunities for local business leaders, entrepreneurs and organizations to collaborate on applied projects with Duquesne students and faculty," said Dr. Dean McFarlin, dean of the Palumbo-Donahue School of Business.  "We want to enhance job creation and workforce development in the region while giving our students the skills they need to act entrepreneurially, sell effectively and manage sustainable supply chains. We are deeply appreciative that the Commonwealth has awarded this significant funding which will move us closer to completing this ambitious initiative."

Each center has a variety of cutting-edge technology and equipment designed to help students connect theory to practice.  For example, the sales center includes several spaces connected by a state-of-the-art digital video capture system for use with sales education and training.  The entrepreneurship center includes an ideation suite and a maker space with software and a variety of equipment (e.g., laser engraver, 3D printer) for rapid prototyping of new products.

Duquesne's new student-centered strategic plan, launched under Gormley's leadership, highlights integrating practical applications and experiences into academic offerings to prepare students for the demands of the 21st century workforce, as well as innovation, sustainability, entrepreneurial thinking and community engagement.

"This project is a prime example of how to create facilities that enable top tier, real-world educational experiences," said McFarlin. The initiative is part of a $32 million building modernization master plan for Rockwell Hall.

Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program
The RACP is a Commonwealth grant program administered by the Pennsylvania Office of the Budget that was developed for the acquisition and construction of regional economic, cultural, civic and historical improvement projects.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and horizon-expanding education. A campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, Duquesne prepares students by having them work alongside faculty to discover and reach their goals. The University's academic programs, community service, and commitment to equity and opportunity in the Pittsburgh region have earned national acclaim. 

It's time for bigger goals
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