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C & F makeover wows Open House guests

Alumni catch up with former classmates and friends in the new courtyard area to the south of the C & F Building.

Left to right: Anne Magreta, UDM President Gerard L. Stockhausen, S.J., Greg Magreta and Marilyn Magreta at the C & F Dedication.

Left to right: Patricia Smith ’64, Fr. Stockhausen, John Kennedy ’79, and Martin Welch '70, at the C & F Dedication.

Left to right: Academic Vice President and Provost Barbara Schirmer, Fr. Stockhausen, Martin Welch '75, and Dean Bahman Mirshab ’75.

On Sept. 30, the renovated Commerce and Finance Building, home since July to the College of Business Administration, was unveiled in spectacular fashion as part of UDM’s Inauguration Week festivities. UDM President Gerard L. Stockhausen, S.J., blessed the building and cut the ribbon to officially re-open the building. Then it was time to celebrate, both in and outside of the building. The renovations include two new outdoor areas, a bench area around the south entrance of the building, and a courtyard on the west side of the building that is the new home of the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary from the Outer Drive campus.

The C & F Building renovation began in October 2000 with window replacement, roof repairs, and exterior cleaning. In July 2003, a complete overhaul of the building’s interior began. This phase included new classrooms, offices, alumni and College conference rooms, and new student welcoming and study centers. By August 2004, work was completed and faculty and staff returned home from their temporary headquarters in Lansing-Reilly Hall.

University alumni and friends were astounded at the transformation, and the renovation has received rave reviews from CBA faculty members and students.

Associate Professor of Accounting Patrick Wirtz states, “I love the warm tones used in the decor and the air conditioning. This renovation is the second best thing to happen to C & F since the paving of the parking lot.”

Professor of Business Administration Ram Kesavan says, “The difference before and after the renovation is like night and day. The new technology is truly state-of-the-art, and the students really love this great building.”

Tony Drommi, assistant professor of Computer and Information Systems, concurs, saying “The students are really comfortable in the building; they are actually using the [Padilla Family] Student Lounge, and the wireless networking is a big plus for them—and for us.”

Marketing senior Allison Dillard agrees. “I love the new C&F building. It's like being in a new house. Technology changes, such as having a computer and projector in every room, significantly help with learning in the classroom, and the professors are taking full advantage.” She adds, “It isn't just the technology—it's the comfort and sophisticated look as well. All of the students and faculty show visible pride in the changes. I am always sure to tell other students or alumni to check out the great improvements. I appreciate that I have been able to experience the building both before and after the renovations.”

CBA senior Megan Husek says, “The old C & F was dark, outdated, and uninviting. When you walk through the door now, you can feel the energy that the brand-new classrooms and the brightness of the hallways produces. Too bad I am a senior because I might have failed a class or two just to stick around!”

Adds Trevor Crick, associate professor of Business Administration, “From 1926 until a year ago, the building was unchanged. Now it’s up to us to make the best use of it.”

For more pictures from the Inauguration Week Dedications and Open Houses, please visit the Presidential Inauguration web site.