By Krista Shaw
Prominent members of both the University of Dallas and the greater Texas community attended the SB Hall groundbreaking on Friday, Oct. 17. UD administrators, faculty, alumni, students and friends were joined in celebration by distinguished guests, including Texas state representatives, Linda Harper Brown and Tan Parker (UD class of ’93) and Beth Van Duyne, mayor of Irving. Satish and Yasmin Gupta, whose $12 million gift is enabling UD to build SB Hall, also attended.
SB Hall is slated for completion in early 2016, and will be the new home to the Satish and Yasmin Gupta College of Business. The building will have high-technology classrooms, public gathering places and study areas on every floor. The design will take advantage of natural light and the site’s unobstructed views of both Las Colinas and Dallas.
Gathered on the slope between Braniff and the Priory, the crowd grew silent as the ceremony began with a procession of students and faculty bearing the flags of their native countries. These flags served as a reminder of the building’s intended purpose: to foster the unity of the student body and to inspire and prepare them to take part in the global community.
As Yasmin Gupta expressed it, they intend for “students to benefit from these facilities available to them at SB Hall, to work in teams on projects and plans for the future and benefit from the global environment available to them right here on campus.”
Father Peter Verhalen, abbot of Cistercian Abbey, gave the invocation for the groundbreaking ceremony. Joseph C. Murphy, chairman of the Board of Trustees, and Jessica Hornsby, a graduate of Constantin College and a current COB student, both voiced their hopes for the effect SB Hall will have on UD’s academic success and community life. Hornsby said that she expects the building will support the “practice-based curriculum” at UD and be “a dedicated space to explore ideas with our classmates.” Van Duyne also pointed out that SB Hall will affect the larger community, and said she hopes its students would “go out and share what the University of Dallas community has been to them.”
Satish and Yasmin Gupta each gave keynote remarks to commemorate their own experiences at the University of Dallas and to express their hopes for the impact that SB Hall will have upon the school.
“Coming back to the University of Dallas is coming back home to the place where I started my life in United States,” Satish Gupta said. “This is the place where I started my career in the third floor philosophy department.”
Yasmin Gupta also remembered her time as a University of Dallas MBA student fondly.
“Coming from India as a young 19 year old student, the diverse student body from all over the world was my training ground to succeed in my future career path,” Yasmin Gupta stated.
She said she hopes that SB Hall will strengthen the quality of students’ education and life at UD.
“Our dream is for SB Hall to be a magnet for diversity, a global village where students from all parts of the world can learn from each other and live in harmony,” Yasmin Gupta said.