Surrounded by friends, family, fellow donors and members of the Wake Forest community, University Trustee Mary Farrell (P ’10) helped dedicate Farrell Hall, the new home for the Wake Forest School of Business.
The ceremony marked the fulfillment of the dream she and her late husband, former Trustee Mike Farrell (P ’10, LLD ’13), began three years ago with a $10 million leadership gift, the largest-ever given to the business school by individuals. (Read more about the Farrells’ gift in Wake Forest Magazine).
The $55 million building, which opened for classes in July, unites the undergraduate and graduate business programs under one roof, transforming the University’s approach to business education.
“Mike has, in his life and his departure, been the inspiration behind this marvelous building. His vision and his life have been a role model for all of us,” said Dean of Business Steve Reinemund. “It’s leaders like Mike that make business a noble profession.”
“The story of business education at Wake Forest is woven from the threads of resolve and goodwill and, when the moment most demanded it, boldness and bravery,” said Wake Forest President Nathan Hatch. “Our story – the one that includes the names of Babcock, Calloway, Farrell and Reinemund – must continue with the same resolve, boldness, goodwill and determination with which it started.
“This building has been highly anticipated, and today, it will be rightfully celebrated,” said Hatch.
Named for Mike’s late father, Michael John Farrell, Farrell Hall honors the legacy of two men whose determination and dream paved the way for the next generation of leaders at Wake Forest.
Designed for excellence and engagement
In his remarks, President Hatch noted that Farrell Hall represents both the physical culmination of the business school’s tradition and the future of business education.
Indeed, the stately 130,000-square-foot Farrell Hall features the same traditional Georgian exterior as the rest of campus, even down to the signature “Deacon Blend” bricks. Inside, the state-of-the-art building is designed to optimize student, faculty and staff interaction and collaboration.
The heart of the building is the 8,500-square-foot Founders Living Room, an expansive space that has become a natural setting for team meetings, faculty-student conversations and studying since the building opened for classes in July.
Other features include:
- Leading-edge technology: Smart boards, media connectivity and HD video screens in classrooms and common areas promote interactivity in workscapes and playscapes on all levels;
- Integrated design: A mix of classroom, office and study spaces on all floors encourages collaboration and chance meetings among faculty, staff and students. A new recruiting center enables students from all disciplines — liberal arts majors as well as those in business, accounting and finance — to meet with potential employers and showcase their skills;
- Environmentally responsible elements: From the readily apparent water-saving fixtures in restrooms and motion-responsive lighting to the thousands of feet of radiant heat coils buried below the Founders Living Room floor, the building is recognized by the U.S. Green Building Council as Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) certified Silver, on track for Gold.
A new home base for business leaders
Following the dedication and a campus-wide open house, the keynote event in the 400-seat Broyhill Auditorium brought together a special alumni panel. Moderator Al Hunt (’65, D.Litt. ’91), columnist for Bloomberg View and host of “Political Capital,” interviewed DISH Network Corporation co-founder and CEO Charlie Ergen (MBA ’76, LLD ’12); Emerson chairman and CEO David Farr (’77, P ’07); and VF Corporation chairman, president and CEO Eric Wiseman (’77, MBA ’88, P ’07, LLD ’12).
The thought leaders discussed the impact Pro Humanitate has on their roles as leaders of global organizations, the role of government and business in society and what higher education must do to prepare leaders for today’s global economy.
These themes, consistent with Wake Forest’s commitment to prepare students who lead lives that matter, also embody the spirit, legacy and determination of the Farrell family.
“This building, Farrell Hall, which is dedicated to the lives of two great men, is a place for learning, but it is also where students will start realizing their hopes and dreams for the future,” said Mary Farrell. “Although my husband, Mike, may not be here with us today, I like to think he is watching us, smiling.”
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