Gifts make Saunders College expansion possible

LaBella Associates

The expansion and renovation of Max Lowenthal Hall, home of Saunders College of Business, will add more than 35,000 square feet to the building.

RIT business students can expect major changes to Max Lowenthal Hall, home of Saunders College of Business, after the completion of a more than $20 million expansion and renovation project in fall 2023.

The new design, which will nearly double the building’s footprint, will offer cutting-edge teaching and learning spaces, opportunities for innovative research, and venues for collaborative work.

This project would not have been possible without transformational gifts from Saunders College alumni and friends.

Donors E. Philip Saunders; Chance Wright ’18 (advertising photography), ’19 (MBA); Susan Riedman 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) collectively committed nearly $12 million toward the project. Additional funds were awarded by New York State’s 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 hospitality and service innovation programs, and outdoor spaces with expansive views of campus.

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

“As a top-100 business school and top-five undergraduate business school in New York state, this expansion and renovation will bring us to the next level and significantly enrich the learning and research environment,” said Saunders College Dean Jacqueline Mozrall. “This project will further enhance interdisciplinary and entrepreneurial collaborations and expand our ability to engage with the Rochester community and beyond.”

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

This expansion comes at a time when Saunders College is experiencing a boost in enrollment. The college experienced record enrollment of first-year under­graduate and executive MBA students in the fall 2021 semester.

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