Substantial Growth Prompts Renovation of Harper Center
Substantial Growth Prompts Renovation of Harper Center

Harper Center Renovations - Updated ExteriorThe late Charles Heider, BSC’49, HON’10, believed the world could use more business leaders educated in the Jesuit tradition of service and dedicated to positively impacting society. It’s what he did in his own long and fruitful finance career and what he and his wife, Mary, hoped to foster with their generous gift to the Heider College of Business seven years ago. 

This message of servant-leadership has resonated with students and their parents, faculty and staff to such an extent that the college grew to over 1,000 undergraduate students in a few short years. Undergraduate enrollment currently sits at 1,129, compared to 648 students in 2010 – a 74 percent growth rate. Graduate business enrollment has increased by almost 33 percent.

Harper Center Renovations - Updated Entrance“The Heider College of Business has worked hard over the past several years to continuously enhance the quality of our educational product, with special attention to adding real-world skills to drive value to employers. This has led to significant growth in our enrollments over the past five-to-six years. At the same time, we have consistently added exceptional faculty in order to make the enrollment growth sustainable while maintaining a low student-to-professor ratio”, says Anthony Hendrickson, PhD, dean of Creighton’s Heider College of Business.

The College now finds itself in the enviable position of needing more space – office space for members of its growing faculty, classroom space for new courses and additional sections of existing courses, and collaboration and study space for the large number of business students it now educates. 

Harper Center Renovations - Updated Interior“Phase II”, slotted to begin this summer and completed by late 2020, is the next step in continuing the cycle of value enhancement and reinvestment in our students, says Hendrickson. The Heider Family Foundation, led by Scott Heider, is donating the primary gift for the project, which includes new faculty offices, new classrooms, numerous small student collaboration and study spaces, as well as a chapel. It’s a repurposing of existing space that increases efficiency without necessitating an addition. Tim Holland of Holland Basham Architects is the lead architect.

“We’re extremely excited for the future of our students and the College,” says Hendrickson. “Alongside our physical growth, we will be rolling out a new 21st Century Curriculum, with our Heider Mindsets, one of the first major innovations in collegiate business education in the past several decades.”