Robert Morris celebrates 90 years with new building
September 22, 2011 9:15 AM
The new School of Business at Robert Morris University.
By Linda Wilson Fuoco Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
In its 90-year-history, Robert Morris University has had four different names, but it's always been known for its business classes and programs.
And while it is now much more than a business school, the university has marked its 90th anniversary with the opening of the new 18,000-square-foot School of Business complex on its Moon campus.
The building was funded through the university's $40 million Changing Lives, Building Futures capital campaign. A total of $36 million has been raised.
Gregory G. Dell'Omo, university president, said the complex "will be a transformative facility that will move our business school and university to another level."
The building is a "high-tech business laboratory" that will give the university, its graduates and faculty "the reputation they have earned through their hard work, professional success and dedicated service to the community," he said.
Robert Morris has 5,000 students enrolled in graduate and undergraduate programs.
"Our students are thrilled" with the new building, said Derya A. Jacobs, dean of the school of business and professor of operations research. She earned her doctorate at the University of Missouri-Rolla.
During planning stages for the building, "we did a lot of research with other institutions" and solicited input from students and faculty, she said.
The business building is the first official "green" building on campus with certification from LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.
Currently, 52 percent of the undergraduate business courses are taught in the new building and all of the graduate courses. But the building isn't just for students majoring in business.
Five academic schools offer 60 undergraduate and 20 graduate degree programs. Many students who are not majoring in business take business courses, and many of those courses are in the new building.
High-tech features include 12 Bloomberg terminals that give students access to real-time financial market data and an 18-seat Cisco telepresence room allows for "immersive videoconferencing," according to a university news release.
The building includes the PNC Trading Center, U.S. Steel Corp. Video Conferencing and Technology Center, and the ATI Center.
The ATI Center offers an area where business students can socialize and network, which students lobbied for, Ms. Jacobs said.
Robert Morris was founded Sept. 21, 1921, in Pittsburgh as the Pittsburgh School of Accountancy.
In 1935, it became the Robert Morris School of Business in honor of the founding father popularly known as the financier of the American Revolution.
The school purchased 230 acres in Moon in 1962 and seven years later, it became Robert Morris College, offering four-year degrees.
In 2002, Robert Morris achieved university status. The School of Business earned accreditation in 2009 from The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
Now, about 1,700 students live on the Moon campus, the highest number in the school's history. An estimated 22,000 alumni live and work in Western Pennsylvania.