The Raymond J. Harbert College of Business celebrated the groundbreaking ceremony for the upcoming second building to house graduate programs, classrooms and meeting spaces for students.
The groundbreaking ceremony was held on Friday, April 7, at 2 p.m. and included complimentary Toomer’s lemonade and free t-shirts for the first 400 guests.
Molly McLeroy, sophomore in marketing, said she attended the ceremony with a couple of her friends because it was a great opportunity to be a part of Auburn’s history.
“Since Auburn has one of the youngest business programs in the SEC, it's amazing to see how much the college has grown in 50 years," McLeroy said. "I’m thankful and excited to see the college continue to succeed and develop throughout the near future."
Bill Hardgrave, dean and Wells Fargo professor for the College of Business, gave the opening remarks at the ceremony.
“We’re here today to celebrate the ceremonial start of the creation of our new building, and it truly is a celebration,” Hardgrave said. “It’s been 27 years since our last groundbreaking. Now, I told our team, ‘no pressure, but we only get to do this about once every 27 years, so this better be one heck of a celebration.’”
Hardgrave said the new building will start at the at the border of Magnolia and Donahue aligned with Lowder Hall, with a courtyard between the two. The building will be around 100,000 square feet with 10 classrooms, along with a three-story open atrium and a cafe.
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“This new building will enable us to do things we didn’t even really dream about or think about it existing in 1992 when Lowder Hall was built," Hardgrave said. "Technology is different now then it was then. As we’ve worked through designing this building, we’ve designed it to really meet everything that Lowder Hall has not, so it will perfectly compliment the building."
The building will have a lot of flexible space and social space, Hardgrave said.
“This is 100% for the students,” Hardgrave said.
Charles McCrary, former Alabama Power Foundation CEO and current president pro tempore of Auburn’s Board of Trustees, thanked the Harberts for their donation and investment in the University and the students.
“Raymond and Catherine [Harbert] are so generous and so humble about what they can do for Auburn, and we’re so thankful that they’ve found it in their heart to do it," McCrary said.
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