$3 Million Project Marks Business School’s Tenth Anniversary; Completes Second of Three-Phase South Campus Gateway Project
Wilkes University dedicated the new home of the Jay S. Sidhu School of Business and Leadership at a ceremony that kicked off Homecoming Weekend festivities on Sept. 25. The event marked the tenth anniversary of the founding of the Sidhu School and ushers in a new era in the school’s unique approach to business education.
The completion of renovations to the Sidhu School’s new home at 169 S. Main Street in the University Center on Main has transformed the building into a state-of-art facility for business education. Features of the new building include a trading classroom with stock ticker, faculty offices, meeting rooms for student clubs and organizations and classrooms with video conferencing capabilities.
The completion of the $3 million project is the second in a three-part project that also envisions creating the South Main Street Gateway – a dramatic entrance to the heart of campus from South Main Street that would stretch through South Franklin Street onto the main campus greenway, the Fenner Quadrangle.
Wilkes President Patrick F. Leahy said the creation of a first-class facility reflects the University’s commitment to provide facilities to match the excellence of its academic programs.
“The campus must develop physical spaces that enhance the student experience and mentoring culture that is the hallmark of a Wilkes education,” Leahy said. “This building does exactly that, providing an environment where students can meet with faculty, work on project teams and attend classes – in one state-of-the-art facility.”
Jeffrey Alves, dean of the Sidhu School, said that the new facility prepares students to work in the kind of environment that they will find when they enter the business world.
“The business world that they will enter is one of collaboration and cross-disciplinary work,” Alves said. “The new home for the Sidhu School reflects that, with intimate meeting spaces outside every suite of faculty offices and a wealth of spaces that students can access to work on team projects.”
Jay Sidhu chairman and chief executive officer of Customers Bank also spoke at the dedication. His gift to the University established the Sidhu School in 2004.. As the school marked its tenth anniversary, he said it has matched his vision for business education that has its foundation in leadership.
“One of my hopes for creating the Sidhu School of Business and Leadership was to ensure that tomorrow’s business leaders have the skills required to be authentic leaders,” Sidhu said. “Today’s business environment requires leaders who have a strong foundation in ethical leadership. By that I mean leaders who not only have traditional business skills but who also have the emotional intelligence and ethical grounding needed to be a leader in today’s complicated global marketplace.”
All undergraduates in the Sidhu School take part in the personal and professional development program, a unique component of business education at Wilkes. The four-year program nurtures each student’s personal and professional potential, linking academic content with career planning extracurricular activities and leadership development.
The completion of the Sidhu School project is the most recent in a series of building renovations that included the opening of the $35 million Lawrence and Sally Cohen Science Center in Fall 2013. The first project in the South Campus Gateway project was the renovation of 141 S. Main Street, the former Bartikowsky Jewelers, into a home for the University’s student services and finance departments completed in spring 2014. Other major projects in the last two years include a new home for the Passan School of Nursing in Stark Learning Center which include the Clinical Nursing Simulation Center. Renovations to the University’s Munson Field House were also completed in 2013.