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CU School of Business, Economics, Technology grant

Plaster Foundation funds help launch dream of facility for CU School of Business, Economics and Technology (SOBET)...

By Gerard Flanagan, news writer and photographer,
Office of University Communications

Campbellsville University has been awarded a grant from the Robert W. Plaster Foundation that will go toward the construction of a new academic building to house the School of Business, Economics and Technology.

Dr. Benji Kelly, vice president of development, said, "We are grateful for the Robert W Plaster Foundation partnering with Campbellsville University. Their financial support for our School of Business will allow CU to offer an education in a first class facility and improve the experience for our business students."

The Robert W. Plaster Foundation's mission, according to its website, "is to expand educational access and promote the virtues of the American Free Enterprise System through named capital projects."

Plaster established the foundation that bears his name in 1983.

The Robert W. Plaster Foundation stands on four cornerstones that guide their decision to support projects: promoting educational opportunities for students, empowering students for success, promoting free enterprise and continuing Plaster's legacy.

Since his passing in 2008, the Robert W. Plaster Foundation has continued his mission to help students in southwest Missouri and the surrounding region get a better start in life with a high quality, affordable education.

"We believe Robert W. Plaster would be quite pleased for his foundation to name the School of Business and Entrepreneurship at Campbellsville University, a beacon of light guiding students as they prepare for their lives in faith, family and work," said Jason Hannasch, executive director for the Plaster Foundation.

"And we applaud all other supporters of this project at Campbellsville University, which will provide world-class facilities for faculty and students to study business and free enterprise. And of course, we cannot wait to see what Campbellsville University students accomplish!"

Plans for the new academic building to house the School of Business, Economics and Technology include the following features:

- An innovation tank that will foster interdisciplinary and collaborative work

- A trading lab designed to equip the university's student investment team in managing an assigned portion of the university's endowment and that will provide technology and a setting for instruction in investing

- A community forum that will serve as a meeting place for business leaders and also provide space for student research presentations and business proposals

- Versatile office space on both floors with large niches for open workspace and gathering areas.

- Innovative classrooms that will provide open space, versatile furnishings and the latest tools to maximize teaching and learning

- A computer learning lab with high-tech instructional space that includes the latest equipment and teaching tools for those using technology in the business world

- A virtual learning equipped with state-of-the-art virtual tools (such as VR, AR and Robotics)

- Six large spaces that can open together to create an exposition area for conferences, business fairs and large campus/community events.

"The Plaster Foundation funds place CU in a fortunate position to begin financially the dream of creating a facility for our School of Business, Economics and Technology (SOBET)," Dr. Donna Hedgepath, Campbellsville University's provost and vice president for academic affairs, said.

"Currently, the SOBET is our largest school, yet has the smallest space for students to participate in class and collaborate. The new building will provide a state-of-the-art space that our students deserve, where they will thrive. Our CU business graduates are poised to function as leaders in an ever-changing, global business world."

Further hopes include efforts to deepen and broaden free enterprise and financial literacy. The faculty have discussed possibilities for a Free Enterprise Center and the expansion of the Center for Business and Financial Literacy.

The Free Enterprise Center would be aimed at fostering teaching and research in the role of free enterprise and entrepreneurship. The Free Enterprise Center will also spearhead an initiative to place teams of Campbellsville University business students and mentors within the local business community.

The Center for Business and Financial Literacy provides financial planning training, tax coaching and consultation and teaching financial literacy with a Christian worldview.

"I am thrilled to receive such a meaningful gift from a partner who shares our hopes and values in higher education," Dr. Joseph Hopkins, president of Campbellsville University, said.

"With the understanding of this support, our Trustees have approved moving forward on the design and construction timeline. There is still much work to be done in fundraising, but this significant milestone gives momentum to our future."

Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university that offers over 100 programs including doctoral, master, bachelor, associate and certificate programs. The website for complete information is

This story was posted on 2024-02-03 11:26:51
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