Grant helps fund COBE building

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The signature COBE building sits atop Jefferson Steet and Tyler Avenue

Construction on the new signature College of Business and Economics building is well under way at the corner of Jefferson Street and Tyler Avenue, and the money for the building isn’t off to a bad start, either.

A three-for-one challenge grant for $25,000 was pledged by the Marietta McNeill Morgan and Samuel Tate Morgan, Jr. Foundation of Richmond. It will generate monies for the new building.

The donation provides a small piece of the puzzle that is the $16 million needed to support various aspects of the building. These include: constructing additional scholarships and endowments for students as well as investing in COBE outreach programs that support southwest Va. through the Small Business Development Center, the Leadership Development Center and the Government and Nonprofit Assistance Center.

In addition, the money will go to helping pay for the $44.3 million, 110,000 square foot building which is set to open in the Fall of 2012 and to developing more faculty support with endowed chairs and centers of excellence.

The COBE building will also be paid for via a plethora of naming opportunities. Everything in the building, from the amphitheater to bricks in the building can have a name attached to it for a price. At $2 million, the amphitheater is the most expensive on the list, while each brick is $1,000. There are 38 naming opportunities in all, and most sit between a $25,000-$250,000 price tag.

Radford University plans to raise $75,000 in required matching funds for alumni, parents and corporate friends so they will qualify for the grant.

COBE Dean Dr. Faye Gilbert told RU Today that the grant will hopefully assist RU in finding new partners for the new building. She understands that the continued success of COBE expansion is largely dependent on donations such as this one from the Morgan Foundation.

This most recent donation was a piece of the COBE project puzzle, which is actually just a piece of the $212 million capital expansion plan to revamp the campus. The construction began with the 2009 renovation of Young and Davis Halls and will continue after the COBE building is complete, as construction of a new $32 million fitness center is scheduled to start at some point this year.

Started in 1962 with a goal to promote and support educational and human services programming Va., the Morgan Foundation has provided gifts to institutions of higher learning before, including to Hampden-Sydney College for a signature building of their own and Washington and Lee University for the renovation of its campus library.

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