In 1958, James Madison issued its first business degrees to its graduates; however, it wasn’t until 1972 that the JMU School of Business was officially established. By the early 80’s, JMU had anchored national accreditation for the business degree and in the early 90’s Zane Showker Hall was built, the central hub for the business department and its courses. In 2016, Bloomberg Businessweek ranked JMU’s College of Business 18th in the nation. The University has been and continues to graduate the leaders of tomorrow. These leaders are taking initiative to enhance the current program to preserve and expand its legacy.
Showker Hall was designed for a capacity of 2,400 students back in the 1990’s. Over the past 30 years, the University business program has been increasing and is currently enrolling more than 5,000 students. The space is no longer able to effectively accommodate student enrollment, causing faculty to find spaces throughout the building for their courses and students. In 2016, a public announcement was made to expand the vision of innovation and excellence of JMU’s College of Business. The new vision is to create a facility that will utilize a “new” Showker Hall as well as develop a complex that will accommodate not only the increase of Business enrollment, but reflect the modern technological advances to continue its reputation of producing unrivaled business leaders. The 210,000 square foot Learning Complex will include: new classrooms, advanced technologies for research and cyberprojects, labs, dining facility, meeting halls, and many more features.
The construction is planned to begin this upcoming Fall for a grand opening in the Fall of 2020. By the Fall of 2021, all construction should be complete for the College of Business.
The fundraising goal for the College of Business is $15 million dollars. As of August 2018, over two-thirds of the goal has been met.
This is part of an on going blog series on JMU's development, to see the other developments, click here.
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