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Marshall dedicates Brad D. Smith Center for Business and Innovation

Marshall University officials, faculty, staff and students celebrated Wednesday afternoon the official dedication of the Brad D. Smith Center for Business and Innovation, located at 1425 4th Ave. in Huntington.

The new facility housing the Lewis College of Business, Brad D. Smith Schools of Business is about 78,000 square feet and features some of the latest technology to educate 21st Century business students and serve the business community, including a 360-seat auditorium with the latest technology, a finance lab that will house 12 Bloomberg terminals, a computer lab, and nine classrooms with ThinkHub Education technology that includes an instructor station and student stations that can work both collaboratively and independently.

“The Brad D. Smith Center for Business and Innovation was necessary to overhaul Marshall’s business education, emphasizing teamwork, innovation and local economic integration,” said Marshall Provost Avinandan “Avi” Mukherjee, former dean of the Lewis College of Business. “This new facility serves as a nucleus for this transformation, providing Marshall students with cutting-edge resources, technology, and collaborative spaces vital for success in today’s business landscape. For faculty, it offers an environment conducive to interdisciplinary collaboration, research advancements, and fostering a culture of excellence, thereby enhancing their ability to deliver top-tier education.”

The facility opened to students in January of this year after two years of construction. It was the result of years of planning and contributions from several generous donors, including a $25 million donation from Marshall President Brad D. Smith, an alum of Marshall’s College of Business, and his wife, Alys Smith. The auditorium was made possible through a $1.8 million donation from Encova Insurance. Dutch Miller Auto Group donated $1 million for the facility’s forum, Service Wire Company donated $1 million for the Transformative Sales and Excellence Center, and John Rahal donated $1 million for the Rahal Center for Strategic Engagement. Those are just a handful of the many donations that have made the center a first-class educational facility.

“This is a milestone moment in a series of milestone moments that are happening on our campus, in our city, across the state and honestly in the Appalachian region,” President Smith said. “It’s because it is our time. We are seeking this opportunity and we are leaning in. It is the power of we.

“We talk often about the importance of a town and gown relationship between a university and its surrounding community. For 187 years, Huntington and Marshall University have taken that so much further,” Smith continued.

“This building symbolizes the continued strengthening of our capability and our connectivity,” he said. “When I talk about capability, it is the world class education that these amazingly talented students are receiving from the world’s best faculty and staff right here in this building and opening it up to the community so the surrounding businesses and citizens in the innovation district will thrive because we share all the research, all the learning, all the best practices with everyone in this community.”

Smith credited former Marshall President Jerome Gilbert for his vision as the plans were being made for this facility and others. Future development with mixed-use properties is envisioned along 4th Avenue and will continue to be a collaboration among Fairmount Properties, Marshall University, PJ Dick Construction and Perkins Eastman. That includes Marshall’s new Institute for Cyber Security building that is planned on the corner of 4th Avenue and Hal Greer Boulevard.

“Perkins Eastman has been honored to work with Marshall University and Fairmount Properties on the design of the new Brad D. Smith Center for Business and Innovation,” said James Butterfield, principal for Design for Perkins Eastman. “The building embodies a spirit of optimism that will expand the reach of the university beyond the campus to create a collaboration hub with the business community.”

“We are thrilled to commemorate the grand opening of the Brad D. Smith Center for Business and Innovation and extend our gratitude for the opportunity to work with such a forward-looking university,” said Randy Ruttenberg, principal of Fairmount Properties. “We would also like to thank our project execution team, PJ Dick Construction and Perkins Eastman Architecture. This dedication ceremony underscores our commitment to providing exceptional educational experiences while advancing the development of the 4th Avenue Innovation District in partnership with Marshall University.” 

For more information about Marshall’s Lewis College of Business and its academic programs, visit www.marshall.edu/cob.

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