What SB Hall means for UD liberal arts

Aaron Credeur, Staff Writer

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If you are a business student at the University of Dallas, chances are you have already made your way into the new home of the Satish and Yasmin Gupta College of Business. The opening of SB Hall over Christmas break signals new growth for UD and its business program.

While developments on campus are exciting and promise better accommodations for a growing student body, it is important to keep in mind the things that make UD a great school in the first place: its Catholic identity, the intimate community and the liberal arts.

Only by reconciling UD’s roots with this new growth can the student body come to fully appreciate all.

To an outsider, it may seem odd for a liberal arts university to have such a prestigious business program as the one that flourishes at UD. After all, what exactly do philosophy and literature have to do with business? But talk to a student or faculty member at UD, and you will probably get an explanation about the value of the Core Curriculum in forming well-rounded entrepreneurs.

UD’s devotion to inspiring a passion for truth in every student sets it apart from other universities. This may all sound a bit far-fetched and lofty, but the business program at UD provides perhaps the best example of this principle in action.

In requiring every undergraduate student to study the foundations of philosophy and science by reading primary texts, future businessmen and women are given the unique ability to interpret the world, placing their knowledge and skill sets in the context of human nature throughout history.

Contrary to popular opinion, the goal of the liberal arts education is not to fill a student’s mind with useless and unrelated information. It is to form citizens with a knowledge of the truth in its most complete form and with the ability to apply this truth to their specific professions in surprising and unique ways.

Understanding the relationship between business and the liberal arts reveals the unquestionable growth in UD’s business program. Students who pursue both an undergraduate degree and a graduate business degree are prepared for work in the real world while having been given a more comprehensive and well-rounded education.

This philosophy is central to UD’s mission, and the new developments in the Satish and Yasmin Gupta College of Business, such as the opening of SB Hall, are natural steps in the advancement of an institution that values this kind of education.

However, students might be struck by the stark contrast of the new SB Hall with the other, older academic buildings on campus. Everything from the overwhelming whiteness of the interior to the stock market ticker and the strange attempt at modern elevator sounds signals a new direction for UD. Or perhaps it is just another architectural offshoot to add to the incoherency of the buildings on campus — albeit a crisp, modern and attractive one.

While UD is not exactly known for the beauty of its campus, I would encourage future architectural endeavors to include just a bit more rich mahogany amidst the modern whiteness.

In time, I am sure SB Hall will fit right in on our rather motley campus, but only if students and faculty alike can understand its relation to the buildings next door.

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