Spaces in Maurer Center Facilitate ‘Collaborative Collisions’

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Written by Sharmaine Wills, Master of Accountancy Student and Communications Intern

With the opening of the Robert W. and Patricia A. Maurer Center in fall 2020, 28 spaces in the new business building have been specifically designed to lead to “collaborative collisions” between students as well as with faculty. These spaces will be used to encourage and facilitate student and faculty interactions on projects. Devices can be plugged in to display work on monitors, resembling how work gets accomplished in the business world. Students and faculty can share projects such as Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, and PowerPoint presentations to create, revise and finalize. These rooms also assist students with their presentation skills.

The collaboration spaces are flexible in size to accommodate large and small project teams. Using scheduling software, these rooms may also be used for in-class activities. Several of the collaboration spaces have been named for generous donors. On the first floor is the Grass/Reid Student Collaboration Space and the Brent B. Nicholson Collaboration Suite.  

Alumnus Keith Grass ‘78 has seven family members, spanning two generations, who are BGSU graduates. The University has been a very special place for the Grass and Reid families, and in gratitude, Grass supports his alma mater with his time and financial support. He served on the College of Business Leadership Council, is a member of The Presidents Club, established the Grass-Reid Endowed Scholarship, supported The Excellence Fund for the College of Business, and the Senior Challenge.

Grass is the owner of KBG Holdings, Inc., after retiring as President and CEO of the David J. Joseph (DJJ) Company in 2014. DJJ is a subsidiary of Nucor Corporation, and is one of the largest scrap-metal brokerage operations in the United States.

A collaboration suite is named for the late Dr. Brent B. Nicholson ‘76 with a generous gift by his father, Donald Nicholson. The elder Nicholson ‘50 is a generous supporter of BGSU by establishing the Donald G. and Wilma B. Nicholson Endowed Scholarship. He has supported The BGSU Excellence Fund, the Student Union Capital Improvement Endowment Fund, the Alumni Center Facility Endowment, the Alumni Fund, and the College of Business.

In 2011, Donald established the Dr. Brent B. Nicholson Memorial Scholarship in memory of his son, a 1976 BGSU graduate who earned his accounting degree and went on to earn a law degree in 1979. After working in accounting and law practices for 10 years, Brent returned to BGSU as a highly successful professor and was instrumental in establishing the entrepreneurship program. Brent passed away in 2010 after suffering a heart attack. It is only fitting to name an innovative space for Dr. Brent Nicholson.