Opening March 2017

Dear Texas MBA Alumni,

Recently, I shared with you a portion of our vision for Rowling Hall, the future home of the Texas MBA program. The vision encompasses five interrelated themes: overlapping communities, showcasing, tinkering, innovating, and attracting. In this short note, I outline how Rowling Hall will support innovation in the Texas MBA program.

Texas, with its pioneering spirit, has a history of innovation and leadership. We're not interested in the status quo. We're focused on the future. As they say at UT, "What Starts Here Changes the World." Rowling Hall is designed to ensure that happens. Innovation happens when multiple viewpoints are brought together, shared, discussed, rejected, changed, and otherwise combined to create new solutions.

Innovation inside the classroom is enhanced through spaces designed to support discussion, teamwork, and both knowledge creation and sharing. Innovation outside the classroom is enhanced through spaces that afford students the opportunity to work together: group study rooms for formal discussions, student lounge space where ideas can be tossed around no matter how audacious they seem initially, food and beverage options that entice students to gather and share, and quiet areas for reflection. We've included great tiered spaces, innovative hybrid spaces designed with group learning in mind, and spaces set aside to experiment with new technologies and classroom systems.

The MBA Investment Fund was one of the first of its kind. Texas Venture Labs brings together graduate students from across campus to evaluate pre-incubator ideas and innovations. Our Brand Fellows programs manage hundred million dollar brands for clients. The 'big data' visualization lab showcases state of the art analysis. All these innovations and more are supported with high-profile space at Rowling Hall, ensuring that we share all we do at McCombs and in the Texas MBA program with guests and users of the building.

One thing is for sure. When we enter Rowling Hall it will be state of the art. But that art will surely be different in 2037 and 2057 and we don't know how that will look. So the building is designed for maximum flexibility going forward. The building itself will allow us to experiment with pedagogy and thought leadership long into the future. And that means the value of your Texas MBA will continue to be enhanced.

If you'd like to be involved in this exciting project, please see the opportunities. With your help now, we’ll enter this transformational space in March 2017.

I'll be back in a week or so to let you know how Rowling Hall will support the innovations that make the Texas MBA program special. Until then, all the best and Hook 'Em Horns!

Eric Hirst
Associate Dean for Graduate Programs

P.S. - Don't forget to keep your information up to date in the Texas MBA alumni database. You can do that yourself here or you can just hit reply with your contact information and I'll see that it is updated for you.

McCombs School of Business
2110 Speedway, Mail Stop B6006
Austin, Texas 78712-1270

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