BGSU breaks ground for Robert W. and Patricia A. Maurer Center

The new home for the College of Business is set to open in the fall of 2020

It was a historic morning for Bowling Green State University as a crowd of more than 100 people gathered October 13 on the lawn in front of the former Hanna Hall to celebrate the groundbreaking for the Robert W. and Patricia A. Maurer Center .

The facility will be the new home to the College of Business . It is scheduled to open in the fall of 2020.

The ceremony featured remarks from BGSU President Rodney Rogers; Ohio Sen. Randy Gardner (R., Bowling Green); Daniel Keller, chair of the BGSU Board of Trustees; Raymond Braun, dean of the BGSU College of Business; Nijah Slaughter, business administration student; and Robert Maurer, alumnus.

The project includes the complete renovation of Hanna Hall and a 50,000-square foot addition. The Maurer Center will be located on the Wooster corridor and will serve as a gateway to the academic core of campus. Construction began earlier this year, with the demolition phase already complete.

The groundbreaking was a celebration to officially mark the start of a project that has been years in the making.

At Saturday's groundbreaking, Rogers said the facility will have a far-reaching impact.

"As a public university, BGSU embraces its responsibility to act in the public interest and to create public good," Rogers said. "The Maurer Center will help prepare our students to be the next business and community leaders."

The Maurer Center has been designed for active-learning classrooms, a departure from traditional lecture-style classes.

"In active-learning classrooms, faculty facilitate problem-solving discussions and serve as learning coaches, helping students master the course content as well as the critical thinking, presentation and teamwork skills that are so important in business," Braun said.

Slaughter, specializing in international business and marketing, said students are excited for the new facility.

"The Maurer Center is designed to enhance the student experience with input from students," Slaughter said. "As business students, we are taught the importance of collaborating with each other and working in teams. The Maurer Center is filled with collaboration spaces where we can work with project teams, hold organization meetings and do homework."

The Maurer Center has been designed to model modern corporate offices. Braun said this will aid in incorporating alumni and employer partners in the student experience.

"With our emphasis on experiential learning, the Maurer Center will improve our ability to interact with employers and alumni," Braun said. "With a prominent location on Wooster Street near the center of campus, the Maurer Center will make it easy and convenient for employers and alumni to assist us in our educational mission."

In an era of big data and data-driven decision making, Braun said the Maurer Center also will include state-of-the-art technology and a trading lab, helping students better understand analytic concepts.

"Faculty will be able to incorporate business simulation exercises in their classes and show in real time the business outcomes of student decisions," he said.

Robert Maurer, a 1965 BGSU graduate, and his wife, Patricia, made a transformative gift of $5 million to fund the new business facility.

"We are deeply appreciative of our generous donors who made this renovation possible," Rogers said. "Their support and confidence in BGSU's commitment to changing lives for the world will impact generations to come."

The Maurer Center will include several named spaces:

  • The William F. and Peggy L. Schmeltz Atrium will be the premier gathering space for educational and networking events for faculty, staff, students and business professionals. Students will have the opportunity to engage with business leaders during various symposiums and conferences focusing on areas such as leadership, analytics, innovation and entrepreneurship.
  • The atrium will also house the college's outstanding student service areas named in memory of Sister Mary Noreen Gray.
  • The main gateway to the Maurer Center, the Riedl Courtyard, will offer an outdoor meeting space perfect for small events and gatherings. Various conference, collaboration and meeting rooms will also provide accessible and functional space for students, faculty, staff, business partners and the community.
  • The Michael R. and Mary Lee McGranaghan Dean's Suite will support the development and education of 21st century business leaders and entrepreneurs.
  • The Centers and Institutes Suite will feature the Paul J. Hooker Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership, office and meeting space for the Business Analytics Center, the Risk Management Institute, the Supply Chain Institute and the Center for Regional Development.

BGSU's College of Business is ranked among the top business programs by U.S. News and World Report, the Princeton Review and Poets&Quants.