September 29, 2023

🔒 Marquette’s O’Brien Corridor transforms campus and the group

The brand new house of Marquette College’s enterprise and innovation management applications, the Dr. E. J. and Margaret O’Brien Corridor opened its doorways to college students in January. The brand new constructing options as much as 17 classroom areas throughout 4 ranges, 12 assembly rooms, a soundproof recording studio and a company boardroom.

The completion of the $60 million, 109,000 square-foot facility marks the biggest absolutely donor-funded building undertaking in college historical past. Greater than 250 donors, together with 60 who gave greater than $100,000 and 14 who gave $1 million or extra, contributed to the two-year fundraising marketing campaign. 

The constructing’s identify was chosen by an nameless donor who gave the college $24 million for the undertaking. BizTimes Milwaukee not too long ago sat down with Tim Hanley, performing Keyes Dean of the School of Enterprise Administration at Marquette College, to speak concerning the new constructing and what it means for college students and the enterprise group. 

BizTimes Milwaukee: Are you able to talk about the elements of the brand new constructing and what excites you about its facilities and options?

Tim Hanley

Hanley: There are a lot of features of the constructing design that target simulating actual enterprise environments. Our company boardroom is modeled after an actual one. Our Pitch Pit/Innovation Lab simulates a enterprise capital presentation setting. College students will discover it simpler than ever to transition from their Marquette training to skilled settings with this new constructing.

As well as, so many features of O’Brien Corridor have been designed to create collisions between college students, school and the enterprise group, together with our occasion house, espresso store and open ground plan, amongst others. 

We not too long ago hosted a recruiter from my former firm, Deloitte, in our foyer; she was capable of have a full desk setup with free bagels and muffins for college students. We by no means had the house to do this in our outdated foyer.

We additionally invested in state-of-the-art school rooms to permit for a variety of studying choices: in-person, digital and hybrid – the expertise permits our school and college students to maneuver seamlessly amongst all three codecs. O’Brien Corridor was designed with the way forward for training in thoughts, and the way forward for training is to be adaptable to alter.

BizTimes: Are you able to speak about donors you had to have the ability to create this house for the enterprise faculty? 

Hanley: O’Brien Corridor is a one hundred pc donor-funded enterprise, the primary of its form in Marquette historical past. We acquired greater than $60 million in help from our alumni and benefactors.

It was gratifying to know that greater than 250 whole donors contributed to the undertaking, and greater than 60 of them gave at a degree over $100,000. Fourteen donors invested $1 million or extra. Lots of them have been first-time givers.

We’re blessed to have loyal alumni who really feel a robust connection to our faculty. They acquired a world-class training right here at Marquette and felt strongly sufficient concerning the worth of it to wish to move it on to the following era. After we requested them for assist, they stepped up.

All through Marquette’s “Time to Rise” marketing campaign, now we have additionally been capable of elevate over $30 million in help of efforts past the constructing, making certain our faculty is positioned to serve the higher Milwaukee enterprise group. 

Each nice metropolis wants an excellent enterprise faculty, and we’re poised to be that for Milwaukee because of our donors.

BizTimes: How do you see the constructing performing as a catalyst for interacting or collaborating with the enterprise group and different Marquette College schools? 

Hanley: It’s been our imaginative and prescient for fairly a while to have our School of Enterprise Administration and Opus School of Engineering adjoining to one another. The shut collaboration now we have between our schools helped us develop applications like Innovation Alley. Now now we have the bodily proximity to enrich the tutorial linkages that exist already.

We now have additionally hosted high-impact occasions within the new constructing that we by no means may have hosted in Straz Corridor, our former house. From a industrial actual property convention in January to a “fireplace chat” with key alumni in February, our new occasion house affords each the capability and the flexibility to welcome the enterprise group onto campus.

I’ve already had dozens of conferences with enterprise leaders and high-level donors within the new constructing; not less than one on daily basis since we opened. I really like exhibiting them the scholar expertise. We needed to create an surroundings the place “the lights are at all times on.” Our constructing welcomes our college students for espresso within the morning, for lessons throughout the day and for examine teams within the night.

Guests are much more motivated to interact with the faculty after seeing that surroundings.

BizTimes: What does the completion of this constructing imply to Marquette College?

Hanley: I like to explain this constructing as a “sport changer” — one thing that elevates the already excellent work finished round this college to a different degree.

O’Brien Corridor is already altering the methods our present and potential college students take into consideration our faculty. I can say the identical factor concerning the many corporations which can be right here to rent our college students for internships and full-time positions.

I additionally see it drastically boosting our lecturers. For years, now we have had nationally ranked applications inside our partitions — applications like Utilized Funding Administration, Provide Chain Administration and Govt MBA, to call a number of. Now now we have a facility that permits these applications to be delivered in probably the most cutting-edge methods doable.

We’re additionally extremely proud that this yr’s first-year enterprise class is sort of 40 p.c bigger than a yr in the past. Potential college students are potential prospects, and O’Brien Corridor clearly has the issues they worth.

We additionally love the truth that this constructing anchors the west gateway to campus, an space that Close to West Facet Companions has put loads of time and sources into creating. This constructing will hopefully encourage extra site visitors and personal enterprise within the surrounding space.

BizTimes: What new options of the constructing do you want finest?

Hanley: I really like the way in which the constructing accommodates college students from dawn till effectively previous sundown. Stroll by our hallways and also you’ll see training in motion from 8 a.m. to eight p.m. in a manner that you just couldn’t in our outdated house. We needed to make O’Brien Corridor a spot the place college students would wish to be – not simply from enterprise, however from throughout campus. That has come to fruition in only a few quick months.

BizTimes: What has been your largest shock because the opening of the constructing?

Hanley: I’ve been blown away by simply how a lot curiosity there may be from enterprise leaders. We simply had our School Management Council assembly, which incorporates leaders from outstanding corporations in Milwaukee similar to BMO and Deloitte, amongst others. Their response is much more optimistic than we have been anticipating.

We’re amazed at what number of alumni have come again to campus to see this unbelievable facility. It has already served as an efficient gateway for donations, time investments and general alumni engagement. 

BizTimes: What are the most important variations between this new constructing and the prior house of the enterprise faculty?

Hanley: Our college students simply didn’t have sufficient house to collect and collaborate within the outdated constructing. We included their suggestions into the brand new design; now I see college students using the house effectively past their class time.

The expertise enablement in our new facility is actually superb — it now suits the way in which we educate and permits us to entry outdoors audio system, whether or not they’re talking to us from Wall Road or Silicon Valley.

There isn’t any doubt that O’Brien Corridor is rather more agile and versatile than Straz Corridor. The final renovation to Straz was a long time in the past. Whereas it had ample classroom house, it was not geared up to deal with how we educate at present. O’Brien has versatile layouts, fashionable digicam expertise and connectivity throughout the constructing to allow all completely different sorts of studying.

For instance, in our Graduate College of Administration, there may be extra demand for distant entry, as graduate college students want to have the opportunity be taught of their properties or locations of employment. We put in a “studio” with a high-resolution digicam and soundproof room to ship their most popular methodology of studying with out compromising academic high quality. This is only one of many examples of how now we have responded to each our undergraduate and graduate college students.

BizTimes: What challenges did you encounter whereas getting the undertaking over the end line and open?

Hanley: The pandemic and associated provide chain challenges actually created some obstacles for our building effort, however because of our nice services crew at Marquette and an excellent set of exterior companions like Findorff, we have been capable of ship a undertaking on time and comparatively on funds.

We have been additionally elevating cash for this necessary undertaking within the coronary heart of the pandemic—a time of big uncertainty. Regardless of the obstacles, we have been capable of absolutely fund each nickel of the $60 million value with alumni and benefactor help. It’s the largest donor-funded undertaking in Marquette’s 140-plus yr historical past.

As a lot of the enterprise group is aware of, my predecessor, former Keyes Dean Dr. Joe Daniels, tragically handed away in February 2020 on the very outset of this undertaking. It was an enormous loss for us right here within the faculty and for the complete college. This constructing began as his imaginative and prescient, and we really feel privileged to have helped make it a actuality. 

BizTimes: Are you able to speak about your relationship together with your building companions?

Hanley: Findorff has been a incredible accomplice not simply to us, however to the college on a number of crucial building tasks over the previous a number of years. The crew they supplied us was firstclass in all respects and unsurprisingly included a number of leaders who graduated from Marquette’s Opus School of Engineering.

They teamed seamlessly with our services planning and administration division, in addition to many gifted subcontractors. We additionally went by a number of iterations of what this constructing would appear like. Our architectural accomplice, BNIM, and Findorff have been extremely versatile in all of the modifications that have been made in each step of the method.

Underneath the management of this mixed crew, we constructed O’Brien Corridor in an ecologically sustainable manner. Over 90 p.c of the supplies from McCormick Corridor, the residence corridor that used to occupy our location on campus, have been recycled. Our constructing general exceeds Wisconsin’s “Give attention to Vitality” program targets. We wanted flawless execution to realize all this, and that’s what Findorff gave us.

BizTimes: What’s your imaginative and prescient for the way forward for this constructing?  

Hanley: I see this as a convening place for enterprise in southeastern Wisconsin. We’re encouraging our many stakeholders — each corporations that rent our college students and different outstanding enterprise teams just like the MMAC — to consider how they may convey their leaders into our house. I need our college students studying in a enterprise hub that gives alternatives to work together with these organizations, and I need the organizations to see the expertise we’re creating. 

O’Brien Corridor will change into one of many premier locations the place enterprise is finished in Milwaukee.