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Groundbreaking Ceremony Held for Kellogg’s New ‘Global Hub’ on Northwestern University

Hundreds of supporters, alumni, friends and students of Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management flocked to the groundbreaking ceremony for Kellogg’s new “global hub” on Northwestern’s lakefront Nov. 14.

Kellogg Dean Sally Blount was effusive in her praise of all who made the celebratory day possible. She especially cited the generosity of donors, announcing “Transforming Together,” Kellogg’s $350 million capital campaign and noting that it is more than halfway toward its goal.

Designed by the Toronto-based, award-winning firm KPMB Architects, the new Kellogg state-of-the-art facility on the Evanston campus also will serve as the headquarters for the department of economics in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences.

Northwestern President Morton Schapiro and other University dignitaries emphasized in their remarks that the five-story, approximately 410,000-square-foot global hub will reinforce Kellogg’s exceptional standing in the world and its visionary plans for the future.

Designed to facilitate flexibility and collaboration, the building also will reflect the University’s truly interdisciplinary approach to teaching and doing research about business in the 21st century, stressed Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences Dean Sarah Mangelsdorf and other speakers.

But it was the video showing off the design of the glass-encased building with its sweeping views and the dramatic vistas of Lake Michigan and Chicago’s skyline that truly stole the show.

“We asked for a design that captures Kellogg’s courageous and collaborative culture,” said Blount, who added that the building’s completion in late 2016 would cap off the school’s seven-year plan for transformation. “It will set a standard for how we teach at Kellogg.”

“This magnificent new home will reflect Kellogg’s dedication to reinventing management education,” President Schapiro said. “And it will further bolster the interdisciplinary approach that drives Northwestern’s leadership position in business.”

After their remarks, the speakers and other key people involved in the building planning lined up on stage for the ceremonial groundbreaking. The tent resounded with applause as they, donned in hard hats, each dug a shovel into the container of dirt symbolizing the beginning of another exciting chapter in Northwestern's history.

A physical manifestation of Kellogg’s culture, the building will accommodate the latest technology and foster new forms of learning and idea generation.

William Osborn, chair, Northwestern University Board of Trustees congratulated Kellogg and Blount on the innovative design for the new building and paid tribute to Gordon Segal, chair of the educational properties committee for Northwestern’s Board of Trustees, for his leadership in the planning.

"Kellogg has been one of the stars and jewels in the crown of Northwestern," Osborn said. "This building will help us continue to train the leaders in business around the world."

The new building and the existing James L. Allen Center, which houses Kellogg’s executive education programs, will form a world-class lakefront business campus. Together, they represent a comprehensive strategy to advance business education and thought leadership at Northwestern.

“Weinberg College’s department of economics faculty and students will benefit enormously from the continued collaboration with Kellogg,” Dean Mangelsdorf said.

“This building will house some of the most exciting work being done in economic theory and development,” she said, “and will foster a culture of analysis and innovation, critical thought and creative expression for a new generation of leaders in the business and economics communities.”

Segal talked about the long planning process, involving Kellogg students, faculty, administrators and alumni.

He, Blount and other members of the planning team made visits to the headquarters of companies such as Google and Pixar to learn more about creating spaces that support collaborative learning and innovation. The design team included Booz & Company in the early conceptualization process, bringing the best in design thinking to the project.

They were in total agreement that “the chemistry was right” with the architect that they ultimately chose, Segal said. Then they got busy refining the plans again and again until they got them right.

“We have truly created the new Kellogg global hub,” Segal said. Repeating a quote of business leader Robert Galvin, he said, “Leadership is taking people to where they have never been before.” The building will be unique, different and wonderful, he said. “I can’t wait to walk into this building.”

The new hub will be a flexible, multi-faceted space that can be easily reconfigured so that lecture-style classrooms can become large seminar rooms and offices can become study rooms. The building’s most dynamic room, a two-story, 6,600-square-foot conservatory, is designed as a destination for business and civic leaders from around the globe. The space will be able to accommodate 250 people for dinners or 350 people for speeches and presentations.

Toronto-based KPMB Architects designed the building to reflect Kellogg’s commitment to reinventing management education to address an increasingly complex world. The firm won the design job following an extensive, six-month-long competition.

“This building is going to send a big message about the future of education, especially with schools of management,” said Bruce Kuwabara, founding partner of KPMB Architects. “You don’t want to be just another business school. You want to breach the paradigm, and that’s what Kellogg has done.”

The announcement of the $350-million capital campaign emphasizes Kellogg’s determination to remain one of the world’s premier business schools.

“I am deeply grateful to the many donors, alumni and friends for their support which has enabled us to reach the halfway point so quickly -- a milestone that exemplifies the strength and responsiveness for which the Kellogg community is known,” Dean Blount said.

Blount thanked a host of people who contributed to the planning and execution of the project, from Northwestern participants and the Kellogg team to the architects and the donors


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