Encova Insurance makes $1.8 million gift to Lewis College of Business

The Encova Foundation of West Virginia has made a $1.8 million gift for the auditorium in Marshall University’s new Lewis College of Business building, home of the Brad D. Smith Schools of Business.

The new facility, which will be constructed on the 1400 block of Fourth Avenue, will feature a 360-seat, state-of-the-art auditorium that will be named the Encova Auditorium. Currently under design, the new facility is expected to be complete by the fall of 2023. Classes are projected to begin in January 2024.

“The Lewis College of Business is sincerely thankful for the generous donation of the Encova Foundation of West Virginia. Their commitment to the new Lewis College of Business facility, the Brad D. Smith Center for Business and Innovation, will benefit all Marshall students for generations to come. This state-of-the-art facility will be utilized by our students and be an ideal venue for our speaker series, lectures and classes, business meetings, conferences, film screenings and workshops. We are honored to bestow the Encova name on this auditorium,” said Dr. Avinandan Mukherjee, dean of the Lewis College of Business.

The university expects that the new facility, measuring 77,000 gross square feet, will house a new distinctive business school focused on empowering students to achieve their professional and entrepreneurial dreams, while making a positive impact on the local and regional economy.

“Encova Insurance is dedicated to supporting higher education and community partnerships,” said TJ Obrokta, president and CEO of Encova Insurance. The Encova Auditorium in Marshall University’s new Lewis College of Business building will allow future business leaders to be trained by outstanding professionals. It will also provide the opportunity to transform the Huntington and Tri-State communities by hosting speakers who will inspire entrepreneurs and business leaders of all ages.”

Marshall University President Dr. Jerome A. Gilbert said Encova’s commitment to higher education in West Virginia is outstanding.

“We are very appreciative of Encova’s partnership with Marshall University,” Gilbert said. “They share our vision that an educated workforce leads to a thriving West Virginia. By working together, public and private alliances can become cornerstones of success for the Mountain State.”

Encova Insurance, formerly BrickStreet Insurance, has generously supported Marshall University for more than 15 years through providing scholarships, supporting athletics and assisting several academic areas. Encova Insurance is recognized as one of the top five corporate donors at Marshall University.


Photo: Marshall University today received a $1.8 million gift from the Encova Insurance Foundation of West Virginia for a new auditorium in the planned Lewis College of Business facility on 4th Avenue in Huntington.  Pictured from left to right are Dr. Avinandan Mukherjee, dean of the Lewis College of Business; Thomas J. “TJ” Obrokta, president and CEO of Encova Insurance;  Dr. Ron Area, president and CEO of the Marshall University Foundation; Dr. Jerome A. Gilbert, president of Marshall University; Steve Williams, mayor of Huntington; Toney Stroud, Marshall University Board of Governors, and Dr. Jaime Taylor, senior vice president and provost of Marshall  University.