Celebrating the transformation of North Greenville University’s historic administration building into a new home for the College of Business and Entrepreneurship (COBE) and senior executive offices, the NGU community left its mark on the Donnan/COBE Project last Thursday afternoon, participating in a prayer and dedication ceremony on the Tigerville campus.
NGU students, faculty, staff, donors, and board members had the opportunity to permanently inscribe their names, prayers, and scriptures on an 18-foot steel beam that will be used to complete the $9.7 Million Donnan/COBE Project. The university’s administration building was first opened in 1955.
“This is a historic building in a historic location at a historic college,” said NGU President Dr. Gene C. Fant, Jr. “This beam is going into a building that’s been here for 65 years—half of NGU’s entire existence—and we hope it will be here for another 100 plus years.”
The ceremony featured a welcome from Vice President of Advancement and University Engagement Marty O’Gwynn, and an invocation from Dr. Jonathan Keisler, Associate Dean of Undergraduate Business Programs.
NGU Board of Trustees Chairman Dr. Brian Spearman opened the program by reading Philippians 3:12-14.
“This is a big day. To walk through the building now and remember what it was like as a student, it is exciting,” Spearman said. “Today, we are all called to look at what Christ has for us. Let’s press forward for what is ahead, but let’s keep our eyes on Jesus Christ in everything we do.”
Marcus Hermanstyne, a senior interdisciplinary studies major and the university’s Student Body President at NGU, offered a student’s perspective on the importance of the project.
“The Donnan renovation is just one more opportunity to foster community here on campus,” Hermanstyne said. “When it’s all completed, it won’t just be a nice building, but a place where disciples are made, hearts are changed, and the Gospel is spread. As a student, I’m grateful to be at a university where we keep the main thing the main thing. And that is Christ.”
President Fant noted during his remarks that the renovated building will be a great resource for those who are pursuing careers in business.
“While we are biblically faithful, we are equipping students to pursue any calling God gives them,” Fant said. “We have unbelievable school teachers that leave this place. We have unbelievable doctors and lawyers that leave this place. Yes, we have unbelievable ministers and missionaries who leave this place in service to the kingdom, but all of these are callings that God gives us.”
Dr. Steve Crouse, NGU’s Senior Campus Minister, concluded the ceremony by leading the attendees in a guided time of prayer for various aspects of the project.
The Donnan/COBE Project will provide five contemporary classrooms; student gathering, meeting, and collaboration spaces; and faculty offices for the College of Business and Entrepreneurship, which enrolled nearly 500 students in the 2022-23 academic year. The new office suite for senior administrators will bring NGU’s chief executive, operating, academic, and financial officers, as well as general counsel, under one roof.
Situated at the highest point on NGU’s campus in northern Greenville County, the Donnan Administration Building opened in 1955. The 19,000-square-foot two-story facility has housed the president’s office, and NGU’s business office throughout its history. It has provided several classrooms, also serving as the previous home to the university’s Hester Library.
“This building was designed at a very specific point in the life of the university,” said President Fant. “This building was recognized for its outstanding design when it was built. The mural that was added to it also received recognition for its artistic merit. What we realized quickly with this project is that we could preserve the best of the history of this building, even as we prepared for the best future use of this building.”
The Donnan/COBE Project was designed by Greenville’s Equip Studio, and is being managed by Jones Lang Lasalle (JLL). Hood Construction is providing general contractor services.
The project is expected to be completed this fall, with the building opening to students for the spring 2024 semester.
The Donnan/COBE capital campaign was launched in 2022. To learn more about the campaign, visit go.ngu.edu/donnan-cobe