First Students in COBE Building Give Rave Reviews

Excitement trumped the usual first-day-of-school trepidation Monday as Radford University opened its newest academic building for the first day of fall 2012 classes.

"It is pretty incredible," said Michael Smith, a junior accounting major from Christiansburg, of the new College of Business and Economics (COBE) building. He said the building's study sites and resources will make his academic home for the next three semesters even more special.

Cochise Pryor, a senior finance and economics major from Virginia Beach, saw the new building for the first time on Monday morning and said it shows that COBE means a lot to RU.  While awaiting his first class, he reflected on COBE's old home in Whitt Hall.  "There is no comparison," he said. "My major is pretty stressful, and the building's spaciousness, comfort and views will make this a relaxing place to get work done."

As Michael King, assistant professor of management, went off to teach his first class at RU and in the building, he said, "Phenomenal. It is easy to see that RU means what it says when it talks about the teaching and learning environment."

For the first time, all four COBE departments—accounting and business law, economics, management and marketing—are under one roof, and all of COBE's classes will be held in the same building.  In addition, 15 other departments will hold more than 130 hours of classes each week this semester in the building's 14 classrooms, which contain the latest in educational technology and can seat from 40 to 120 students.

Dale Henderson, chair of the Department of Management, teaches his first class in the new COBE building Monday morning. one of the new classrooms in COBE

Dale Henderson, chair of the Department of Management, teaches his first class in the new COBE building Monday morning.

"A lot of work went into planning and building this spectacular building, and it enhances RU as well as COBE," said Wayne Saubert, professor of accounting and a member of the building committee that researched, consulted with colleagues and sweated the details of the latest addition to the Radford landscape.

Under the illuminated pendulum over the atrium on the second floor, several second-year MBA students and COBE undergraduates gathered to await their first classes in COBE's new home.

"It is impressive, and the atmosphere is inspiring," Michael Gilliland said.

Wesley Stout added, "The size, the space and the feel all are conducive to a mindset of thinking and acting professionally." 

David Townsend likened the feel of his academic new home to the site of a recent summer internship, a corporate headquarters, where he felt motivated by the sense of opportunity. He also described the faculty members with whom he had spoken as "almost giddy."

After his first class, an 8 a.m. principles of accounting class, Associate Professor Michael Chatham said he felt an exciting dynamic in the classroom. "I was able to give my students a sense of the multimedia available to us, and there was a new level of interaction."

As Brandon Hogdahl, a junior accounting major from Stafford, relaxed between morning classes in a chair on the third floor overlooking the New River Valley and the RU campus, he said, "It all feels so professional, and to be honest, it makes me want to dress better next time I come to class."

Dale Henderson, chair of the Department of Management, said, "Wow, what a way to start a semester. RU and COBE students deserve it."

Aug 28, 2012
Don Bowman
(540) 831-7523