This evening, as part of the University of Colorado Denver Alumni Association Board of Directors, I had the opportunity to take a sneak peek at the new University of Colorado Denver (UCD) Business School building located at 1475 Lawrence Street in Downtown Denver. As a proud MBA graduate of the UCD Business School, I had been looking forward to the tour of the new building for weeks and I was not disappointed. Dean Sueann Ambron, the Dean of the College of Business gave us an enthusiastic and detailed tour of the building.
The new UCD Business School building is a 98,570-square-foot $24.1 million building located in downtown Denver at northwest corner of 15th and Lawrence. By locating the Business School in the heart of downtown, the University of Colorado has finally firmly established its ties to the business community and economic center of the city of Denver. If you are familiar with this area you will realize that that UCD has created an “education corridor” on Lawrence Street between Speer Blvd. and 15th Street. This corridor is being billed as “the gateway to higher education in downtown Denver”.
Today, Business School students attend classes in six venues scattered all over the Auraria campus and downtown. When I attended UCD, I attended classes in the North Classroom Building, the Science Building, the King Center (the first laptop friendly building on campus), the 14th Street building and the Bard center building on the 16th Street Mall. I am very happy that future Business School students will take all their classes in one place – the new building will consolidate all the six or seven different venues into one. Judging by what will be available in the new building, students will not need to leave the building much. There will be atriums, fountains, patios with mountains views, roof top gardens, to name but a few amenities. The building will be LEED certified (not sure to what level), energy efficient and environmentally friendly – a sign that UCD is willing to practice what it is preaching to next generation leaders.
I was pleased to learn that the new location will house the Bard Center for Entrepreneurship, a business incubator and venture capital fund offices. The Business School is fully committed to putting all the structures in place to support entrepreneurship – a commitment to serve the local economy. Of note is the Bioscience Entrepreneurship program that is being offered at the Bard Center for Entrepreneurship in partnership with the Anschutz Medical Campus, the Colorado Bioscience Park Aurora, the Technology transfer Office and the Colorado Bioscience Association companies. I hope that the Business School will launch programs in other areas that support some of the economic goals of the state, such as clean technology.
Overall, I must say that I am very encouraged by what the Business School has done. The location of the new building shows the University of Colorado’s commitment to the business community and the economy of the city of Denver and the state of Colorado. The simple power of agglomeration, in this case, cannot be understated; the fact that the Business School is now closer to the business community is going to result in the graduation of students who meet the needs of the local market.
Here is a little nugget of information about Dean Ambron that I learned while writing this blog post; Dean Sueann Ambron coined the term “MULTIMEDIA”, she literally invented the word and the concepts of multimedia (hard to believe that at one point in my lifetime both the word and concept of “multimedia” did not exist) and back in the day she was called “the mother of multimedia”; here is a Wired Magazine article on Dean Ambron from 1994 – Mother of Multimedia.
DISCLAIMER: The title of this blog post “Every Great B-School Creates a Great City” was taken from the “mark” Mayor Hickenlooper made on the Mark You Wall wall in the new Business School building.