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Challenge Grant Begins New RU COBE Building Fund-Raising Drive

RADFORD – A $150,000 challenge grant from the Mary Morton Parsons Foundation of Richmond will help Radford University build its new college of Business and Economics (COBE) headquarters building.

By November 2011, RU will raise $300,000 in required matching funds from alumni, parents and corporate friends in order to qualify for the grant. Groundbreaking on the $44.3 million, 110,000 square foot COBE building is scheduled for May 2010.

The new COBE home will include an atrium and laboratories designed to break down barriers between classroom and laboratory with built-in “chalk-talk” gathering spaces for formal and informal discussion and meeting rooms. It will also feature the latest educational technology and financial research capabilities, according to COBE Dean Faye W. Gilbert.

“Once the renovation and expansion are completed, our students will learn in a top-notch facility as full partners in programs steeped in research, focused on practical applications and positioned at the center of business discovery,” said Gilbert.

Glave & Holmes and Ayers/Saint/Gross comprise the architectural team working on the building. The two companies have designed buildings on the campuses of William and Mary, University of Virginia and others nationwide.

The Mary Morton Parsons Foundation has a long history of supporting education, arts and cultural, civic and community needs, social services and historic preservation. An estimated 30 percent of RU COBE students are from the Central Virginia area, the primary service area for the Mary Morton Parsons Foundation.

The COBE building initiative is a major part of RU’s ongoing $211 million capital expansion plan. For more information on the RU COBE building and campaign, contact Susannah Sink of the RU Advancement team at (540) 831-2009.

Dec. 8, 2009
Contact: Don Bowman (; 540-831-7523)

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