GW News
A Faculty for Writing
Alumni Events and Activities
Alumni Newsmakers

A Tale of Two Washingtons
On The Money

In Memoriam
Alumni Bookshelf
Artist's Corner


Contact Us
Alumni Association
Law Alumni Association
GW News Center

By Jamie L. Freedman

Walking through the doors of the gleaming, new Ric and Dawn Duquès Hall, there’s no doubt about it—GW’s School of Business is on the rise.

University dignitaries, led by GW President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg and Board of Trustees Chair Charles T. Manatt, filled the building’s Oglethorpe Great Hall (named for Raymond J. Oglethorpe, MS ’69) Feb. 8 to officially open the University’s newest academic center. The ribbon-cutting followed a keynote speech delivered for the grand opening event by FedEx Chairman and President Frederick W. Smith.

A highlight of the first-floor atrium is a world map in the terrazzo floor.

Julie Woodford

The new facility features an impressive Capital Markets Room—a simulated training room—27 state-of-the art classrooms with built-in audiovisual technology and executive-style chairs, a 115-seat auditorium, 19 team rooms, three computer labs, spacious student lounges and study areas, and a career center. Connected on four floors to the renovated Norma Lee and Morton Funger Hall, the vanguard facility brings the School of Business’ nine academic units, plus many related programs and services, under one roof. Academic departments were previously scattered throughout campus in eight different locations.

“Buildings alone don’t teach,” Trachtenberg said. “But it’s important not to underestimate the psychological and educational significance of architecture and edifice … Buildings like Duquès and Funger halls provide us with the space, the technology, and the modalities that are absolutely necessary for the contemporary study of business.”

School of Business faculty and staff members began moving into their new six-story home on 22nd Street in December. Duquès, the hub of business student activity, houses high-tech classrooms, student services, student lounges, and break-out rooms, while redesigned Funger is home to the majority of the school’s faculty offices and conference rooms. The facility also features 194 underground parking spaces, an executive conference center, a student business center, a Java City food venue, and a state-of-the-art behavioral lab, equipped with two-way mirrors, where marketing students can observe and study focus groups.

Funger Hall renovations allowed the business school faculty and staff members to move in to larger offices with conference rooms in one location, instead of being scattered in as many as eight different buildings on campus.

Julie Woodford

The $56-million project was designed by the Smith Group, an architectural/engineering firm, and built by contractor Whiting-Turner. The massive undertaking, which involved constructing the brand new, greater-than-168,000-square-foot Duquès Hall and totally renovating 68,000 square feet (floors three through six) of Funger Hall, took a little more than two years to complete. The contemporary Duquès Hall, constructed of precast concrete, aluminum, and glass, was designed to complement and blend with Funger Hall, opened in 1970. “The design provides an excellent solution of connecting new to old,” says Michelle Honey, director of facilities planning.

According to Honey, the southwest corner of Duquès was created to serve as “a glassy, aluminum beacon” for drivers and pedestrians using 22nd Street. “Also, Duquès sits at the terminus of the east-west spine of the campus connecting the Law School via a walkway through Mid-Campus Quad,” she says. “There is a subtle relationship between the copper roof of the tempietto [in the Mid-Campus Quad] with the glazing and spandrel color selected for the façade of Duquès, further integrating campus elements.”

Architectural highlights of the new building include a first floor atrium, featuring a map of the world in the terrazzo floor with a bronze star pinpointing GW, and the Capital Markets Room visible from the building’s front entrance with glass walls to showcase the facility’s three 60-inch plasma screens, two stock tickers, and 32 triple-monitor student trading stations. The facility features wireless connectivity throughout.

The business school’s new high-tech classrooms include projector screens, ceiling-mounted overhead projectors, TV/VCR/DVDs, voice and program amplification, controls built into the lectern, document cameras, slide converters, and wireless microphones.

Julie Woodford

Just days into the spring semester, business students were enthusiastically taking advantage of the buildings’ myriad spaces for meeting and studying—a sight that brought a smile to the face of GW School of Business Dean Susan M. Phillips. “When I first came to GW in 1998, students used to sit on the floor in the hallway near my office to work on group projects, since there were no break-out rooms, lounges, or meeting spaces for them at the Hall of Government,” she says. “We had overgrown the building, which we’d been in since 1938, and converted every bit of space that we had into offices, unintentionally crowding out the students. We, therefore, designed Duquès to be a student-centered building with lots of team rooms and lounges to accommodate the collaboration and group work that is such an integral part of a GW business education.”

Faculty members, too, are quickly reaping the benefits of their new home. “We now have one of the best business school facilities in the country,” Phillips says. “When we were all housed in different buildings, we had to work hard at seeing each other and building a community. Now that we’re all under one roof, it’s much easier to talk and collaborate. I’m getting e-mails from faculty members saying that they look forward to coming to work every day. It’s very gratifying.”

At a Glance: GW School of Business

World-Class Rankings

Financial Times
Top 50 MBA Program, USA

Beyond Grey Pinstripes
Top 10 Global MBA Program

U.S. News & World Report
Top 25 International Business, Graduate Specialty
Top 25 International Business, Undergraduate Specialty

Top 50 Undergraduate Business Program

Top 50 Undergraduate Business Program

The School of Business’ new home is the culmination of one of the most successful building campaigns in GW history. Central to the campaign’s success was the generosity of GW Trustee Henry “Ric” Duquès, BBA ’65, MBA ’69, CEO of First Data Corp., and Dawn Duquès, BA ’68, who donated $5 million to name the new building. Their son, David, graduated from GW with a BBA in 1997, and their daughter, Tiffany, earned her BBA in 2002. Ric Duquès attended GW on a basketball scholarship and later returned on a graduate teaching fellowship. “I felt I had an obligation to the University to give something back,” he says.

Funger Hall, a landmark on the Foggy Bottom Campus, was named in honor of longstanding GW supporters Norma Lee and Morton Funger in recognition of a substantial gift to the Campaign for GW. Morton Funger, BA ’53, is a partner at Ralmor Corp. and an emeritus trustee at GW.

Opening the Doors

The School of Business marked the grand opening of its new and renovated home with a week-long celebration in February.

Events kicked off Feb. 6 with the Robert P. Maxon Endowed Lectureship, given by N.R. Narayana Murthy, chairman of the board and chief mentor of Infosys Technologies.
On Feb. 8 FedEx Chairman and President Frederick W. Smith delivered a keynote address just prior to the official ribbon-cutting ceremony.

February 9 was a day of panel discussions for the greater business community. Panels examined topics such as business leadership, corporate governance and ethics, business activity in Africa, China, and the Middle East, and lobbying in Washington.

And Feb. 10 was an open house that included more panels on the housing market, entrepreneurship, and international business.

(Front row) Henry “Ric” and Dawn Duquès join GW President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg, GW Chairman of the Board of Trustees Charles T. Manatt, and Dean Susan Phillips in cutting the ribbon on the business school’s new home.

FedEx Chairman and President Frederick W. Smith delivered the opening keynote address.

Professors Pradeep Rau and Frank Anbari admire the celebration cake, completed in the shape of the new Duquès Hall.

Photos by Dave Scavone

Beyond Bricks and Mortar

Dean Susan Phillips speaks to guests during the grand opening week events.

Dave Scavone

GW’s School of Business, which moved into its new, world-class home at 22nd and G streets this semester, now enjoys one of the finest physical facilities in the country. But, there’s more to the story than bricks and mortar. The grand opening of Duquès Hall is a mere link in the school’s long chain of recent accomplishments.

Since arriving at GW in 1998, Susan M. Phillips, dean of the School of Business, has spearheaded a rigorous effort to revamp the school’s vision and mission and ratchet up its academic programs.

Phillips and her colleagues developed a new strategic plan and conducted a comprehensive curriculum review of each degree program, resulting in a number of new ventures—some of which are already well underway. “Once we were confident that our new building was going to be a reality, I announced to the faculty that we needed to turn our attention to bringing our academic programs up to the level of our then soon-to-be academic home,” Phillips says. “We launched ourselves into a year long strategic directions initiative, resulting in a new academic vision, mission, and values and kicking off a number of initiatives aimed at ensuring that our academic programs, faculty, and staff moved forward to meet the potential of our new home.”

One of the first moves that Phillips made was to suspend admission into the school’s Executive MBA program for one year to undertake a complete review and refocus of the program. “We then overhauled the program and moved it from the Virginia Campus to the new building in Foggy Bottom with a new emphasis on business and public policy.”

Another major project was reinvigorating the PhD program, resulting in the combination or elimination of some of the school’s original nine PhD offerings into a single, more rigorous PhD program. “We’re also currently reviewing and making changes to our MBA and undergraduate programs, developing an undergraduate career center for the business school, in addition to our graduate career center, and introducing an undergraduate summer boot camp designed for non-business majors who are preparing for life after graduation and want some exposure to the business world,” Phillips says.

Several initiatives also are underway in the areas of research, executive education, international programs, and alumni program expansion. New research centers in entrepreneurial excellence and global and entrepreneurial finance were recently established, and others are in the pipeline. “We’ve submitted a proposal to be one of 32 CIBERs [Centers for International Business Education and Research] in the country, and Tim Fort, our new Lindner-Gamble Professor of Business Ethics, is working to develop a business ethics center,” Phillips says. New international residency programs for GW students are now in place in Denmark, China, India, and Chile, with more on the way. The business school has launched an undergraduate business major for engineering students and established a task force to make recommendations on improving the school’s research environment and productivity.

The business school also recently launched a unique opportunity for MBA students to gain real-world investment experience managing a $1-million investment portfolio, thanks to a gift from W. Russell Ramsey, BBA ’81, vice chair of GW’s board of trustees, and his wife Norma, to the University endowment. Students develop an investment policy and plan for the sizeable Ramsey Fund from the new capital markets laboratory in Duquès, where students can access real-time quotes using proprietary software and financial information systems.

Another substantial alumni gift is helping to fund a major expansion in alumni programming at the business school. “Wendell Crain, LLB ’56, has graciously worked with us to develop and fund the Crain Student and Alumni Center on the first floor of Duquès, where students and alumni can gather for meetings, networking sessions, and programs,” Phillips says. “The Crain grant will also help us set up business school alumni chapters in major cities to keep people connected to their alma mater, as well as bring alumni classes back to campus every five years for special programs. We’d like to see alumni more involved in the life of the business school and want them to feel that Duquès Hall is their new home.”

Phillips also encourages the business community at large to utilize the new facility for conferences and meetings. “It’s important for the business community to be integrated with the business school and for our students to have the opportunity to elbow with important policymakers in our building,” Phillips says. Requests are already pouring in to use the new facility, and several conferences are already scheduled for Duquès. “Tim Fort is developing several conferences for the spring and summer focusing on business ethics, some in conjunction with the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, the accrediting body for business schools,” Phillips notes. “Ted Barnhill, professor of finance, has a conference scheduled here in April on risk management for central banks.”

As life pulsates through the new building, Phillips is quick to state that this is just the beginning. “I think that any organization that hopes to be “built to last” must be continuously evolving,” she says. “While our new building is great, it’s what goes on inside of it that’s really important and that will continue to change and improve.”

—Jamie. L. Freedman