On Friday, December 8, Marian University celebrated the opening of the Paul J. Norman Center, home of the Byrum School of Business, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, blessing, and tour. The new facility was needed to accommodate growing enrollment in the Byrum School of Business and is part of a $15 million campaign to support the school’s unique, experiential approach to learning.
“Our slogan in the Byrum School of Business is ‘where business happens.’ We adopted that slogan because we took the traditional textbook, lecture, and exam approach to teaching business and replaced it with experiences that require all of our students to engage with real business people and projects all of the time. This facility was explicitly designed and built to help us deliver that program,” Russell Kershaw, Ph.D., dean of the Byrum School of Business, said during the ribbon-cutting.
The Paul J. Norman Center was built to represent the changing work styles and mobile technology of businesses today, with trendy breakout areas, expansive glass walls, and open perimeter spaces. The building is 33,000 total square feet, with 22,000 being new space and 11,000 renovated space. The building includes a total of seven new classrooms, 14 new offices, three conferences rooms, four collaboration rooms, a large board room, and a presentation venue.
Marian University’s Byrum School of Business offers Bachelor of Science degrees in five areas of study: accounting, finance, management, marketing, and business analytics. Last year, 98 percent of Byrum School of Business graduates obtained full-time, professional employment in their fields within six months post-graduation. One hundred percent of accounting graduates have been employed at graduation in full-time accounting positions in each of the past five years.
In July, the university announced the new facility would be named the Paul J. Norman Center. Norman, a 1973 graduate of the university, pledged an undisclosed seven-figure donation. Norman is chairman and chief executive officer of NU Holdings, Inc., a holding company employing approximately 175 people in 10 offices countrywide and operating several subsidiaries, which include Norman-Spencer Agency, Inc., Western Marine Insurance Services, Northern Star Management, and REO Advisors. All of these companies administer insurance programs for specific industries. Additional companies under NU Holdings, Inc., include Thorn Valley Enterprises, an insurance loss control and risk management company, and Topic Design, an advertising and marketing company.