As soon as you take a step inside, there is still a scent of wet paint and fresh cuts of wood from final days of construction on the building. “The dust has barely settled here,” said Radford University President, Penelope W. Kyle, and that it hasn’t.
Fall semester started three weeks ago, and for some students they have had the lucky opportunity of receiving education within this dignified facility.
After two years of construction and $44 million dollars later, the brand new state-of-the-art College of Business and Economics (COBE) held a grand welcoming to new and current students as well as others who have been anticipating the full view of the 110,000-square-foot building.
Wednesday, Sept. 12, President Kyle as well as the Board of Visitors were all present for the ceremony.
Select special and honorable guests up on the platform with Kyle were: Rector of Board of Visitors, Linda Whitley-Taylor, Dean of COBE Faye W. Gilbert, Secretary of Commerce and Trade for Virginia Jim Cheng, Virginia 12th District Delegate Joseph Yost, field representative Angie Hall stepped in for U.S. 9th District Representative Morgan Griffith and Virginia 6th District Delegate Anne B. Crockett-Stark.
“We’re celebrating a remarkable team effort that will make Radford University a leader in preparing students to guide our Commonwealth and our Nation to a bright strong and stable future,” said Whitley-Taylor. Each speaker had warm wishes for students and hopes of a bright future for the university’s 1,500 business majors.
Delegate Yost is a RU Alumni and for him this a wonderful experience to be a part of. “Radford University has always held a special place in my heart, even the days that I spent here as a student. And It has been a pleasure to represent this university in Richmond. Today marks a new beginning for RU and the College of Business and Economics…” Yost said.
The vision of the COBE building is centered on the idea of teamwork and collaboration. Mayor Dr. Bruce Brown has had the privilege of teaching his Management 322 course within COBE. “It’s a completely awesome student focused building,” Brown said. Brown graduated from RU when the business and economics college was in “the old building” as he referred to it as. He believes this is going to be the new “signature building” of RU.
President Kyle couldn’t be more pleased with the way the COBE building turned out. “We’re the new leader. We have picked the best ideas,” said Kyle. She explained that she sent her team out including Dr. Gilbert to check out other colleges in Virginia including University of Virginia, William and Mary College, even High Point University who has just recently finished with their new college. “We saw the best they had to offer and we added on top!”
Students of all different majors came to the ribbon cutting ceremony to see history in the making. Some joined the Board of Visitors on tours of the building while others enjoyed refreshments and mingled with the crowd. Senior business major Nathan Webb is definitely impressed with the transition from Whitt Hall to COBE. “It’s like a mansion compared to a hut. It’s much more sophisticated and advanced,” said Webb.
Students of all majors are welcome to come study and enjoy the café inside. Kyle says she hopes COBE will encourage more kids to come and take advantage of all it has to offer. Toward the end of her speech President Kyle joked about leaving her current office for a room in COBE.
“I’ve thought about moving my office up here since it’s so beautiful, but I guess I’ll have to go on dreaming and leave all this to you all,” said Kyle. “It’s a dream come true.”