Leg room isn't the first thing that comes to mind when you imagine ways to facilitate learning.
Yet, as business careers prepare for takeoff in the new and modern McMullen Hall at St. Ambrose University, comfort comes with the ticket.
With nearly 16,000 square feet of added learning space, the newly renovated McMullen Hall opened this fall as the first fully dedicated home for the St. Ambrose College of Business.
Matthew Pettke, a sophomore majoring in Business Sales, is very happy with the new space.
"The best part is knowing that all of your business courses are going to be there. It's the nicest, newest building on campus. Also, the classrooms are set up for the best learning experience. In the new McMullen, there's even leg room everywhere you sit."
Creating a "Place for Business" is the university's nimble response to the growing academic and technological needs of business students and faculty. Construction began in March 2019 and ended in August 2020, just in time for fall classes.
An initiative to fund the $8.6 million project was paused in the spring due to the pandemic but has since resumed. In Fall 2021, the public fundraising phase for what Associate Vice President for Advancement Sally Crino '01 MBA described as the "top philanthropic priority" for St. Ambrose will begin.
The building houses six classrooms, a tiered lecture hall, a business technology lab, a finance lab and a sales lab, a dean's office and 44 offices for COB faculty. The student study lounge features a beautiful atrium.
"It's nice to have the atrium, especially when you're working on projects," said senior marketing major Colleen Barrett. "I feel like you get to know business students more now that we're all in one building."
Madison Epperson '20 is pursuing her Master of Accounting degree after earning a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting degree in May. She's been eagerly awaiting the opening of McMullen.
"It has allowed me to have a one-stop shop for all things that I need to excel in the SAU College of Business," she said. "It is nice to have a quiet and updated study area along with the convenience of having all of my professors in one building."
A Place for Business
Amenities – such as Promethean smart boards, team rooms in the Sales Center, and a tiered lecture hall – reflect and recognize different ways students absorb information.
Sales major Alaina Giftos said the Sales Lab has been a great learning tool and the building's versatility is an asset, too.
"You can use the sales lab and the entire building in many different ways," she said. "I think it's awesome. It definitely makes me feel more a part of an organization."
An Instagram poll taken midway through the semester showed that students love the improvements. Amenities – such as Promethean smart boards, team rooms in the Sales Center, and a tiered lecture hall – reflect and recognize different ways students absorb information. But, again, comfortable learning factored, too. Molded chairs and creative furniture styles and configurations scored big.