The newest academic building at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln is expanding the horizons for business teaching and learning.
Opening for classes Aug. 21, Howard L. Hawks Hall is the new home for Nebraska’s College of Business. The $84 million, 240,000-square-foot building — funded entirely by private donations from 2,500 individuals, groups and organizations — features experiential learning spaces, high-tech classrooms and specialized programs that will increase opportunities for students, faculty, staff and alumni to maximize teaching and learning.
“We have worked on this (building) project for five years, and moving into the space is creating a new sense of pride and motivation,” said Rik Barrera, associate dean and chief operating officer for the college. “It will be a wonderful place to go to class, work, study, visit with colleagues and friends, get something to eat and hang out. This building will strengthen our already strong community.”
Howard L. Hawks Hall is one of four new buildings on campus this fall. Featured spaces in the new College of Business include:
Huskers Shop, a business student-run Husker merchandise shop created through a partnership with Nebraska Athletics and Fanatics, a retailer of licensed sports gear. Operating hours will include home Husker football game days.
Trading Room, a lab space that includes Bloomberg terminals, which allow students to analyze real-time financial market data and conduct simulated stock transactions on the same machines used in the financial sector.
An 800-square-foot Yes Chef Café with décor that highlights Husker student athletes from the college. It will be open year-round and adjacent to a catering kitchen to facilitate large gatherings.
The university’s largest auditorium with 385 seats, a 150-seat auditorium, 16 conference rooms, and classroom space with more than 2,100 available seats.
A 4,262-square-foot atrium that will allow the college to host events formerly too large for the previous College of Business Administration building. It can hold about 300 seats.
The south handicap accessible entrance incorporates Nebraska-developed conductive concrete. The concrete carries enough electrical current to melt ice during cold weather. The concrete mixture was developed by Chris Tuan, professor of civil engineering. Learn more about conductive concrete.
Along with the auditorium, lecture space includes 24 classrooms that seat between 50 to 80 students. The classrooms feature movable furniture, which allows faculty to configure the space to best meet instruction needs, whiteboards and projectors. Lecture spaces are supplemented by 17 breakout rooms that will be used for small group study during class sessions or reserved for student use 24 hours a day.
The space offers a variety of student services, including the Business Advising and Student Engagement Center, which provides academic advising and opportunities to be more involved through programs like the business learning communities; and the Business Career Center, which helps with resume reviews and prepares students for internships and full-time job searches. The building also brings programs housed in other locations across campus — including Executive Education, Center for Entrepreneurship, and the Survey Research and Methodology program — under one roof.
The new building helps the College of Business better meet growing demand for business instruction. Since 2012, the college’s enrollment has increased by nearly 29 percent, with 4,196 students enrolled in fall 2016. The college also has more than 1,600 students from other Nebraska colleges pursuing business-related minors, participating in sales center programs and serving as coaches in the Clifton Strengths Institute.
Due to enrollment growth and space limitations, less than 50 percent of classroom space in the College of Business Administration Building — the college’s previous home — was being used for business-related instruction.
“This new space is going to provide us a greater capacity to have ongoing collaboration between students and businesses,” Barrera said. “It is essential because it is creating a modern business environment that simply was not possible in our old building.”
The university will celebrate the opening of Howard L. Hawks Hall, on the southeast corner of 14th and Vine streets, from 3 to 5 p.m. Aug. 18. Students, alumni, friends and others are welcome to attend the Open for Business Ribbon Cutting and Back to School Bash. The bash is sponsored by Sandhills Publishing. RSVPs are encouraged.