The E. Claiborne Robins School of Business is often one of the first buildings seen upon entering campus at the University of Richmond. The building, constructed of red brick and limestone, has been transformed over the years from a simple structure into a technologically advanced hub where students learn, study, and collaborate.
The E. Claiborne Robins School of
Business is often one of the first buildings seen upon entering campus at the
University of Richmond. The building, constructed of red brick and
limestone, has been transformed over the years from a simple structure into a
technologically advanced hub where students learn, study, and collaborate.
Several significant financial gifts
helped the Robins School of Business grow from its humble beginnings into a
prestigious institute of higher learning. In 1952, L.U. Nolan donated $250,000
as a startup for a potential business school at the University of Richmond.
Nolan’s donation was a large portion of the $600,000 needed to build the
business school, though it was not constructed until 1961.
Students took classes in the make-shift
military barracks that remained after World War II, named after the V-12 program
that trained over 800 potential officers at the University before they went off
to World War II.
Construction of the business school began on
October 15, 1960, and was completed on November 4, 1961. The University of
Richmond finally had a centralized location where students studying business
could meet and collaborate. The original building included a large auditorium,
classrooms, faculty offices, lecture rooms, and audio visual facilities.
Despite its ambitions, the
University of Richmond fell on hard times in the 1960s, which threatened the
school’s existence. That all changed in 1969 when E. Claiborne Robins made a
$50 million donation that saved the University from financial ruin. As a result
of his generosity, the school decided to name the business school after Robins.
The name was officially changed on September 5, 1979.
Renovations in 1984 led students temporarily
to take business classes in buildings scattered around campus. The $3 million
renovations of that year added 15,000 square feet to the original Robins School,
and inclueded 13 new offices, three new classrooms, and a student computer
room. Once the renovations were completed, students returned to the Robins
School and began to feel a renewed sense of unity. The renovations further
improved the prestige of the Robins School and provided students with new
opportunities to enhance their business education.
In order to keep up with the
changing times the University of Richmond decided to renovate the Robins School
again in 1998-99. Before those renovations, a committee from the University traveled
to twelve of the top business schools in the United States in order to obtain
ideas about how to further improve the school. The committee visited
Stanford, Harvard, University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Chicago. Compared
to these schools, the Robins School was new and ambitious. The renovations upgraded
technology, allowing students to access computers. Classrooms were also
furnished with multi-media instructors stations.
In 2011 a $6-million-dollar donation
was provided by Paul B. Queally and Anne-Marie Flynn Queally. The donation financed
the construction of 33,000 square feet of new space to the business school named
Queally Hall. New finance and trading rooms were built, creating three new
courses in asset management, asset allocation models, and hedge fund management. The courses aimed to give the University of Richmond students real-world
experience and better prepare them for occupations in new fields of study. The
Queally donation also added a café and large auditorium as a place for business
school students to mingle and collaborate between classes. The café allows for
business school students to stay in the business school and creates a sense of
community within the school.
One of the most noticeable additions
from the Queally donation is Robbins Tower. Named after the late dean David
Robbins, the Robbins tower spirals upwards into the sky and is topped off by a
spider weather vane. The Robbins Tower draws attention of all who pass by.
The Robins School of Business
currently enrolls around 650 undergraduates. An interesting program at the
Robins School is called Q-Camp. Q-Camp allows for students to refine their
career goals, attend networking events, and create resumes for internships.
Additionally, the Robins School provides many opportunities for students to be
successful after college. Today companies such as AT&T, Morgan Stanley, and
Bank of America are some of the top employers of Robins School students.
last fifty years have brought enormous changes to the physical appearance of
the Robins School. As a liberal arts school, the University of Richmond encourages
all students to take part in business school classes and provides them
opportunities to be taught by business school professors in their first year
seminars. Paul Queally talked about the Richmond learning experience by saying,
university will have this kind of intensive learning experience... and that’s