Construction begins on Saunders College of Business expansion project

LaBella Associates

Proposed exterior view of Max Lowenthal Hall. Click through the photo gallery for more renderings.

RIT’s Saunders College of Business has broken ground on the multi-million dollar expansion and renovation project at Max Lowenthal Hall. The project, expected to be completed in early 2024, will nearly double the building’s footprint and will offer cutting-edge teaching and learning spaces, opportunities for innovative research, state-of-the-art event and collaboration spaces, as well as renovations to existing spaces.

This project would not have been possible without transformational gifts from Saunders College alumni and friends, including serial entrepreneur, philanthropist, and college namesake E. Philip Saunders; alumni Chance Wright ’18 (advertising photography), ’19 (MBA) and Susan Holliday ’85 (MBA); the late Klaus Gueldenpfennig ’74 MS (electrical engineering), ’77 (MBA); Brigitte Gueldenpfennig ’81 (MBA); and Dinah Gueldenpfennig Weisberg ’97 MS (software development and management), ’03 (EMBA), who collectively committed nearly $12 million toward the project. Additionally, Saunders College was awarded a grant from New York state as part of the Higher Education Capital Matching Grant Program.

The new building will feature student team rooms, applied research and case analysis labs, an event space and reception hall, state-of-the-art auditorium, a café, an executive MBA and executive education suite, a wine room in support of the hospitality program, and outdoor spaces with expansive views of campus.

Existing classrooms will also be renovated in support of innovative and student-centered pedagogy.   

“All of us at Saunders are excited for this transformation,” said Dean Jacqueline Mozrall. “This expansion and renovation will allow for interdisciplinary collaborations among our RIT students and faculty, elevated applied research and experiential education opportunities, and expanded community engagement and outreach—all of which allows us to drive creativity and innovation among the next generation of business leaders.”

Originally designed by Robert Macon, Max Lowenthal Hall was constructed in the late 1970s. The new design by LaBella Associates, with LeChase Construction as contractor, seeks to honor the architectural language of the existing building, while reinterpreting materials to present them in a more modern way.

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