Despite the threat of rain, Southern Adventist University (SAU) students, employees, donors, and community members joined together on February 24 to dedicate a piece of land for a new building to house the School of Business on the school campus in Collegedale, Tennessee, United States.
After opening remarks, the group formed a large circle around the future facility’s location and prayed together over the land.
Several university and community leaders were present, including SAU president Ken Shaw; Ron Smith, chair of the university Board of Trustees and president of the Southern Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists; and local business owner Franklin Farrow, chair of the fundraising campaign for the School of Business.
“We’re very grateful that many have stepped up with their donations, time, and energies to make this project possible,” Farrow said. “Southern is in the business of changing and equipping hearts, and as we take on this challenge of creating a new building, let’s remember that it’s more than bricks and mortar. It is a place that will shape characters for generations to come.”
The School of Business is the second largest academic area on the university’s campus, with a 10-percent increase in its enrollment over the past five years. At approximately 42,000 square feet (3,900 square meters), the new building will be nearly five times as large as the current space designated for business programs in Brock Hall. It will house a large multipurpose auditorium, and its investment lab will include 12 Bloomberg Financial Terminals — computer software systems on which students can analyze real-time financial market data.
Thanks to alumni, donors, and other friends of the university, US$15.5 million of the $20 million campaign, which also includes an endowment, has been raised through donations and commitments. Ground-breaking for the new facility is planned for early fall 2023.
“God has anointed our students to be kingdom builders in the marketplace,” School of Business dean Stephanie Sheehan said. “He has called and will continue to call many students here, and we are thankful they will soon have a new facility to call home.”