RIT’s Saunders College of Business will break ground on the expansion and renovation of Max Lowenthal Hall this fall. Designed by LaBella Associates, the renovations will almost double the size of Saunders College. Existing spaces will also be renovated.
“All of us at Saunders are excited for this transformation,” said Dean Jacqueline Mozrall. “This expansion and renovation will allow for interdisciplinary collaborations among our RIT students and faculty, elevated applied research and experiential education opportunities, and expanded community engagement and outreach—all of which allows us to drive creativity and innovation among the next generation of business leaders.”
The $19-plus million expansion will add more than 35,000 square feet to the building, featuring:
- Student team rooms to provide spaces for small group interdisciplinary collaborations and project work;
- A behavioral research lab to support behavioral research that investigates interesting and complex hypotheses regarding human behavior and decision-making;
- An integrated business technology systems lab to support applied research aimed at the exploration, testing, and refinement of “smart” technologies and applications that impact the future of business;
- Applied case analysis labs to support the engagement of students and teams in the comprehensive analysis and presentation of applied business cases and projects;
- Outdoor spaces with expansive views of campus;
- An Executive MBA and Executive Education Suite to centralize the team responsible for these programs;
- An auditorium for distinguished speakers, conferences, workshops, and classes;
- A wine room in support of hospitality and service innovation programs;
- A conference center and signature event space to serve as one of the pre-eminent venues for business and entrepreneurship conferences, executive education, and events for RIT and the regional Finger Lakes Community.
Renovations to existing spaces will help create continuity between newer and older spaces. Classrooms and common learning spaces on the third floor will be renovated, as will a seminar room on the first floor. Carpets will be replaced, furniture will be upgraded, new audio-visual capabilities will be integrated, and technology accessibility will be prioritized.
This project was made possible by donations from many Saunders College alumni and friends, including significant gifts from alumni Chance Wright ’18 (advertising photography), ’19 (MBA) and Susan Holliday ’85 (MBA), as well as a transformational gift from serial entrepreneur and philanthropist E. Philip Saunders.
Additionally, Saunders College was awarded a grant from New York state as part of the Higher Education Capital Matching Grant Program.
These gifts are part of Transforming RIT: The Campaign for Greatness, a $1 billion university fundraising effort, the largest in university history. This blended campaign seeks support from a variety of investors, including alumni and friends, government and corporate partners, and research foundations and agencies.
This project is scheduled to be completed in time to welcome the fall class of 2023.