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Students, donors help W. P. Carey School break ground on new building

October 05, 2011

Official groundbreaking to take place Oct. 29 at 10 a.m., in conjunction with Homecoming festivities

As one of the largest and highest-ranked business schools in the country, the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University is home to 10,000-plus students – more than some entire universities. In order to keep up with its growing student population and to play an even bigger role in educating business leaders of tomorrow, the school is about to break ground on a new 129,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art building that will complement its two existing structures.

McCord Hall will be named for philanthropist Sharon Dupont McCord and her late husband Bob McCord. More than $17 million in gifts and pledges from individuals and corporations will help to fund the new facility. Student leaders have shown tremendous support for the new building, which will help attract the best and brightest in a highly competitive business school environment.

The new building will provide more classrooms for graduate programs and undergraduate honors students, technologically advanced team study rooms, a new career center and outdoor assembly areas. World-class conference facilities will be used for executive education and small research and business conferences.

“The W. P. Carey School of Business is one of the only Top 30 business schools in the nation that hasn’t built a new building in the past 20 years,” said Robert Mittelstaedt, the school's dean. “McCord Hall and renovation of existing facilities will enhance our ability to accommodate all of our students, faculty and community constituents, and will put us in line with our peers. We need to meet the expectations of a top-ranked business school providing facilities and technologies that support team-based, collaborative learning.”

U.S. News & World Report currently ranks the school’s undergraduate business, full-time MBA and evening MBA programs all Top 30 in the nation. The Wall Street Journal ranks the school’s Tempe-based executive MBA program No. 13 in the world.

The W. P. Carey School of Business now enrolls 60 percent more freshmen than it did just 10 years ago, and at the same time, the freshman retention rate impressively has gone up about 10 percent. One of the main criteria for businesses relocating headquarters and regional offices to an area is the quality of local universities for recruiting. Arizona State University already ranks No. 5 in corporate-recruiter preference, according to a survey by The Wall Street Journal.

The new building project is expected to create 480 local construction and engineering/design jobs. It’s projected to create a total of about 1,150 jobs through direct and indirect economic activity stemming from the project, with impacts measured at annual rates and accruing over the life of the project.

“While these jobs will be welcomed by a beleaguered Arizona construction sector and its supplier base, we’ll also see long-run economic benefits,” said Dennis Hoffman, professor and director of the L. William Seidman Research Institute at the W. P. Carey School of Business, who conducted the analysis. “This university capital investment will be manifested in the new space provided for future faculty positions and classroom space, as well as the accompanying human and knowledge capital created there. The economic footprint of the school is large and will broaden with access to the new facilities.”

The new building also will be environmentally friendly, designed to use 30 percent less water and 35 percent less energy than similar buildings. The roof will have a solar array that returns power to the campus grid.

The official groundbreaking event is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 29, in conjunction with Homecoming weekend at ASU. The public is invited to attend the 10 a.m. ceremony. The new building will be located just east of the existing W. P. Carey School of Business facilities on the south end of ASU’s Tempe campus.

For more information about the new building project, visit To make a donation, visit or call (480) 965-6568.