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Archive for Monday, December 17, 2012

KU announces $13 million more raised for new School of Business building

December 17, 2012

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This preliminary rendering from the architecture firm Perkins + Will shows a wide-open atrium area proposed for the inside of the new Kansas University School of Business building. The atrium would be designed to allow a maximum amount of natural light into the building's rooms and offices and reduce electricity use, said KU Business Dean Neeli Bendapudi.

This preliminary rendering from the architecture firm Perkins + Will shows a wide-open atrium area proposed for the inside of the new Kansas University School of Business building. The atrium would be designed to allow a maximum amount of natural light into the building's rooms and offices and reduce electricity use, said KU Business Dean Neeli Bendapudi.

Kansas University on Monday announced $13 million in additional donations toward the planned new building for the KU School of Business, following an initial $20 million gift from the Capitol Federal Foundation that was announced in October.

The most recent contributions put the business school and KU Endowment well past halfway to a fundraising goal of $48 to $50 million for the $65 million building.

"The gifts, I believe, are incredibly significant, because they are from a lot of different people who have deep ties to the university and to the business school," said Neeli Bendapudi, dean of the KU School of Business.

Among contributions announced Monday were four greater than $1 million:

• $2.5 million from the Hall Family Foundation of Kansas City, Mo.

• $2.5 million from David and Suzanne Booth of Austin, Texas.

• $1.4 million from Dana and Sue Anderson of Los Angeles.

• $1.1 million from Howard and Debbi Cohen of Leawood.

The Hall, Booth and Anderson family names each adorn buildings on campus because of past contributions to other areas of the university. And David Booth in 2010 bought James Naismith original rules of basketball for $4.3 million, providing what will be the focal point of a new museum and student center to be located across Naismith Drive from the new business building.

David Booth, Dana Anderson and Howard Cohen are alumni of the business school.

Bendapudi said her hope was that other potential donors might see such names attached to the project and gain the confidence to make gifts of their own.

"These are folks that have made a difference to the university, and we are very proud to have them as graduates of the business school," Bendapudi said.

Other gifts announced Monday, each of which also came from business school alumni, included contributions of $1 million from Roger and Julie Davis of Chicago; $1 million from Ned and Janis Riss of Mission Hills; and $500,000 from Tony and Vicki Batman of Dallas.

"As with anyone, they give because they believe the business school made a big difference in their lives, and they want to make sure it continues on a path of excellence so that future generations can benefit from it," Bendapudi said of the donors announced Monday.

A number of smaller gifts so far have added up to about $3 million, as well, making for a fundraising total of just more than $33 million for the building.

Bendapudi said the total fundraising goal would amount to about $48 to $50 million, which is the estimated cost of the building's construction. That means she, other school leaders and KU Endowment officials will continue to work to raise more.

"It's been nonstop, and I have no intention of pausing till we break ground," Bendapudi said.

The building's total cost, including technology equipment, will come to about $65 million. The remaining cost will be funded by university resources, KU officials told a Board of Regents committee last January.

Those resources were to include technology fees, tuition and course fees, taking into account expected enrollment increases.

Bendapudi said her goal remained to begin construction by spring 2014, if not a bit earlier, and for the building to open for the 2015-2016 academic year, which will mark KU's sesquicentennial.

"We hope that will symbolize that the business school will play a significant role in the life of the university for the next part of our history," Bendapudi said.

The spot marked for the six-story, 166,000-square-foot building is just south of Robinson Gymnasium, where a group of tennis courts is currently located.

After the School of Business moves out of Summerfield Hall, plans call for the classrooms and computer labs there to be available for general university use, while offices and conference space would be converted for use by the Film and Media Studies and Communication Studies departments, as well as the University Career Center and University Advising Center.

Officials told the Regents in October they also expected to sell the Oldfather Studios building at 1621 W. Ninth St. that currently houses the Film and Media Studies department.

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