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After two years of watching brick, steel and glass transform into a gleaming edifice for 21st century learning, Bowling Green State University proudly celebrated the grand opening and dedication of the Robert W. and Patricia A. Maurer Center during a livestreamed event for its community of students, faculty and staff, alumni, donors and supporters.

The stunning building, which included a renovation of the former Hanna Hall and a 50,000-square-foot addition, opened this semester as the new home of the Allen W. and Carol M. Schmidthorst College of Business, and reflects the college’s mission to develop the world’s next generation of business leaders and entrepreneurs.

Prominently located on the Wooster Street corridor, the Maurer Center serves as a gateway to the academic core of campus and will have a far-reaching impact on the student learning experience and interaction with employers and alumni. The building includes high-concept, high-tech learning facilities and amenities appropriate to a world-class business school.

“Business education has long been a hallmark of Bowling Green State University,” said Dr. Joe B. Whitehead Jr., provost and senior vice president for academic and student affairs. “With the new Maurer Center and the recent naming of the college, the Schmidthorst College of Business is positioned for international recognition. Our business programs already have a strong foundation, and this building will allow us to elevate our curriculum to the next level.”

Facility Matches World-Class Curriculum

The three-story Maurer Center has been designed to model a modern corporate environment and prepare students for a successful transition after earning their degrees.

“BGSU has adopted a bold, innovative and broad-based approach to business education, and the new building was designed to allow for discovery-based learning, hands-on experimentation and collaboration,” said Ray Braun, dean of the college. “With our emphasis on experiential learning, the Maurer Center will improve our ability to interact with employers and alumni, assisting us in our educational mission.”

The design will facilitate opportunities to engage with business leaders during symposiums and conferences that focus on topics such as leadership, analytics, innovation and entrepreneurship. Many conference, collaboration and meeting rooms will provide accessible and functional space for students, faculty, staff, business partners and the community.

“Having the opportunity to complete the remainder of my education in the Maurer Center is nothing less than extraordinary, said Brooke Schlatter, a third-year marketing student. “My peers and I are so lucky to have such an innovative building to light the way toward our futures.”

In an era of big data and data-driven decision making, the Maurer Center’s technology and trading lab will help students better understand analytic concepts and applications. Faculty will be able to incorporate business simulation exercises in their classes and demonstrate business outcomes of student decisions, in real time.

In addition, 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.

“Being able to further my education in a facility of this caliber is something that I have been looking forward to since I heard that it was in the making,” said Seth Daniels, a College of Business student ambassador specializing in marketing and supply chain management. “I just cannot believe I get the chance to be one of the first students to utilize everything it has to offer.”

Philanthropy Central to Building’s Story

The vision for the Maurer Center was made reality by the significant support of donors, who recognized how the facility would provide a transformative educational experience for the students who would learn within its walls.

As part of the building dedication on Sept. 11, University leadership recognized and thanked those individuals whose support helped lay the foundation for bringing the building to life. Central to that foundation was the $5 million lead gift provided by Robert Maurer ’65 and his wife, Patricia, for whom the building was named.

“We are so grateful to the Maurers and all of our generous donors who share our vision for a bold approach to business education by contributing to this renovation and construction project,” said President Rodney Rogers. “Their support and confidence in BGSU will influence generations to come.”

The Maurers, who have been prominent in the Bowling Green community for many years, have generously supported the University through a variety of philanthropic ventures.

“This new facility exceeds our expectations and truly represents and enhances the future of tomorrow’s business and community leaders,” said Bob and Pat Maurer. “We are extremely proud to be a small part of it. We are also gratified that many have stepped up and contributed to this vision. Their generosity has helped make this grand dream a reality.”

Many other donors have also supported construction of this academic facility. More than 25 areas in the Maurer Center have been named by donors, including the following named with principal gifts:

William F. and Peggy L. Schmeltz Atrium – the premier gathering space for educational and networking events for faculty, staff, students and business professionals.

Sister Mary Noreen Gray, R.S.M. Student Services Hub – housing the college’s advising and coaching student service areas.

Michael R. and Mary Lee McGranaghan Dean’s Suite  offices and conference area for the Schmidthorst College of Business leadership.

Riedl Courtyard – gateway to the Maurer Center that provides outdoor meeting space to facilitate small gatherings and events.

“We have a strong alumni network that is critical to the success and growth of BGSU,” said Pam Conlin, vice president for University Advancement and president and CEO of the BGSU Foundation. “The generosity of the Maurer family and all of our donors to tis spectacular facility is an example of how philanthropic contributions directly impact the student experience.”

A Reputation for Excellence

Founded in 1935 as the third college at BGSU, the Schmidthorst College of Business is home to nearly 2,000 students and 14 undergraduate specializations, including supply chain management, which was recently ranked in the Gartner Supply Chain University Top 25 for 2020. 

BGSU’s business school is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), a recognition it has held since 1954 and a credential that only the top two percent of business schools worldwide achieve. BGSU also offers a growing list of graduate and executive programs, including the recently launched fully online MBA program

Business students are highly engaged through professional student organizations. BGSU’s chapter of the American Marketing Association is among the top 10 percent of chapters in the country, and the Beta Alpha Psi accounting chapter is ranked No. 2 in the U.S.

Faculty members bring real-world experience to the classroom and emphasize experiential learning. Students can participate in internships as early as their freshman year, providing opportunities to build their professional network and gain hand-on experience at the start of their education.

“In our active-learning classrooms, faculty serve as learning coaches rather than disseminators of technical knowledge, facilitating problem-solving discussions and helping students master the course content as well as the critical thinking, presentation and teamwork skills that are so important in business,” Braun said.

BGSU business alumni have launched successful businesses around the world, leading their industries and communities, driving economic vitality and contributing to the University’s commitment to creating public good. Business alumni remain engaged with BGSU after graduation, from mentorship, to serving on boards and private philanthropy.

“This is an historical time in the Schmidthorst College of Business,” Braun said. “The fact that we have supporters who are so invested in our programs speaks to the strength of the college and the commitment of our campus community.”