The David Eccles School of Business today broke ground on the new Robert H. and Katharine B. Garff Building, a 150,000-square-foot building that will house the school’s MBA, Professional MBA, Executive MBA and MBA Online programs. The building will also support an Executive Education Center, an expanded Business Career Services Center and other centers for use by faculty and students.
This new building will come to fruition because of the generosity of several donors, led by a $12 million donation from the children of the philanthropic Garff family. The Garff children surprised their parents with the donation and name at the groundbreaking held today. This donation will become a permanent physical representation of the legacy of support the Garffs have provided over three generations for business education at the University of Utah and throughout the community.
“Our parents have been our personal heroes since we were children. One of the closest things to my parents’ heart is education, and they taught us to value it above all else,” said Matthew Garff. “As a true Ute family, we are thrilled to have this opportunity to give back to the school that taught us so much, and to simultaneously honor our parents for their tireless efforts and continuous donations to education in Utah. We believe that this building will live up to our parents’ name by providing top-tier instruction and programs.”
The Robert H. and Katharine B. Garff Building will dramatically expand and enhance the master’s-level business programs at the University of Utah. The newly enhanced Business Career Services Center will provide students with a multi-year professional development plan designed to provide year-over-year learning in the areas of professional conduct, appearance, career exploration, personal presentation and job acquisition success.
“We’re excited to add this structure to our existing pool of first-class education institutions,” said Taylor Randall, dean of the David Eccles School of Business. “This new building will provide us with the space and the resources to better serve the educational needs of corporations throughout the area, while enhancing the international reputation of our MBA programs and providing us with world-class career development for all students and alumni.”
The programs that will be hosted in the Robert H. and Katharine B. Garff Building have gained considerable momentum and national recognition in recent months and years. The David Eccles School of Business’ Executive MBA program is ranked fourth in the West and No. 21 in the United States, and it added a second international experience to deepen its international focus. MBA Online was recently ranked by the Princeton Review as the 13th best online MBA program in the world. The Professional MBA program progressed from an unranked program to 42nd and facilitates the largest master’s degree in the David Eccles School of Business, with 620 graduating students in the past five years alone. The Executive Education Center’s new women’s leadership initiative also has attracted women’s leadership groups and CEOs to corporate trainings.
“The Garff children are the third generation in their family to invest in our school, both through donations of monetary value and their time and expertise,” said Randall. “We can’t thank the Garff family enough for their support of our goals to make our business programs the best in Utah, the nation and the world.”
The groundbreaking for the Robert H. and Katharine B. Garff Building was held outside of the Child Hall patio, with University of Utah President Pershing, Senior Vice President Ruth Watkins, Eccles School Dean Taylor Randall, Bob Garff, Katharine Garff, Matthew Garff, Spence Eccles, Lisa Eccles (Board of Trustees), Phil Clinger (Board of Trustees), Jack Bender (Board of Trustees), Christian Gardner (Board of Trustees) and Crystal Maggelet participating.