Duquesne’s Business School Taps $7.5M in Support for Rockwell Hall Renovations

The Palumbo-Donahue School of Business at Duquesne University is rapidly marking its second century by aligning its physical space with the distinctive education that it provides for its students.

Funds totaling $7.5 million—secured over just 10 months—are helping the school’s efforts to completely renovate and update its home in Rockwell Hall.

“We’re not just transforming spaces here,” said Dr. Dean McFarlin, dean of the Palumbo-Donahue School of Business since 2013. “We’re re-shaping the student experience, providing opportunities for new ideas and top-tier research, and supporting the unparalleled quality of programs that we offer.”

During the 2017-2018 academic year, the business school garnered the following grants and gifts to support the transformation of Rockwell Hall:

  • Richard King Mellon Foundation, $4 million grant
  • Anonymous donor, $2.5 million gift
  • Friends and alumni of the school, $500,000 in gifts
  • Redevelopment Assistant Capital Program (RACP), Pennsylvania Office of the Budget, $500,000 grant.

During the past 18 months, the 4th and 9th floors of Rockwell Hall have been completely remodeled (the 3rd and 5th floors were renovated earlier). In particular, the 4th floor now houses high-tech Centers of Excellence in entrepreneurship, professional selling and supply chain management, with Duquesne business students benefiting from the modern learning environment’s experiential design areas, maker space, digital video capture system and flexible classrooms.

A previous $1 million gift from Robert Mallet resulted in the 4th floor’s Louis D. Mallet Entrepreneurship Zone—which promotes idea generation, group learning, problem solving and business planning—and Bob’s Launch Pad, the maker space that provides a hands-on area in which students can develop and prototype everything from new physical products to online business platforms.

While the RACP grant helped facilitate the completion of the 4th floor reconstruction, the most recent funding has been tapped to support renovations to Rockwell’s 6th floor during the spring of 2019.

“This next phase will focus on building Centers of Excellence in business ethics, investment management and sustainable business innovation as well as additional gathering spaces for our students,” said McFarlin.  “The contributions, engagement and generosity of our donors and supporters are essential for bringing our vision to life and have a lasting impact.”

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. 

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