On a day just as unseasonably warm as the one seven months ago when they broke ground on St. Bonaventure University’s new School of Business building, the campus community Friday celebrated the progress of the new William E. & Ann L. Swan Business Center with the blessing of the building’s cornerstone.
Ann Swan unveils the cornerstone (shown in inset) as Sr. Margaret
Ann Swan and members of the Watson family were joined by university trustees and cabinet members as Fr. Francis Di Spigno, O.F.M., executive director of University Ministries, blessed the cornerstone with prayer and holy water.
Swan donated $3 million to the building campaign in honor of her late husband, William E. Swan, ’69, a longtime Western New York business leader and philanthropist, and a dedicated university alumnus and Board of Trustees chair.
Before the blessing, a ceremony was held in the SBU Athletics Hall of Fame.
“From the faculty, a heartfelt thank you goes out to everyone involved in this project,” said Dr. Pierre Balthazard, new dean of the School of Business. “I promise you we will deliver great things in this new building. It will be a beehive of activity.”
The Swan Business Center is expected to be completed and open by the fall of 2013.
“This project has gone smoothly,” said Brenda McGee, senior vice president for finance and administration. “We started with this beautiful design, and it’s being executed masterfully.”
The 26,000-square-foot Swan Business Center will feature a financial services lab with electronic ticker tape, a corporate boardroom, state-of-the-art classrooms, break-out areas, spaces for student collaboration, team building, and faculty research, a dean’s suite, innovative technology uses, and a serious commitment to sustainability.
The $15 million campaign includes $10 million for the construction of the business center; $4 million in endowments for faculty and programmatic support; and $1 million in endowment for building sustainability.
More than 500 donors have to date given almost $14.4 million toward the $15 million campaign goal.
Groundbreaking ceremonies were held March 23, six months ahead of schedule because of the success of the campaign.
“This is a wonderful moment in our history and in our progress to completion of the William E. & Ann L. Swan Business Center,” said Sr. Margaret Carney, O.S.F., university president.
Dr. John Watson, longtime business school dean and university administrator, was a major force in the plans and fundraising for the new building. He passed away two years ago just months before his retirement. His son, John J. Watson, a marketing professor in the School of Business, died unexpectedly just a year later.
SBU Athletic Director Steve Watson; his mom, Suzanne, a former computer science instructor at the university; and Leslie Raymore Watson, John J. Watson’s wife, were in attendance at the blessing.
For more on the construction of the Swan Business Center, click here.
About the University: Inspired for more than 150 years by the Catholic Franciscan values of individual dignity, community inclusiveness, and service, St. Bonaventure University cultivates graduates who are confident and creative communicators, collaborative leaders and team members, and innovative problem solvers who are respectful of themselves, others, and the diverse world around them.