Building a Place for Business

For the College of Business, redesigned programs and teaching methods reflect an agile response to the rapid changes in the world of business as well as that of higher education. Redesigned programs and teaching methods require redesigned space. The McMullen Hall project, will be instrumental in branding and supporting the advancement and initiatives of the St. Ambrose University College of Business.

Executive Volunteer Leadership

McMullen Hall Capital Initiative


Jill McLaughlin

Honorary Co-Chair

Emeritus SAU Board of Trustees


Fr. George McDaniel '66

Honorary Co-Chair

Emeritus History Professor


Joe O'Rourke '72

Campaign Co-Chair

Member, SAU Board of Trustees

Retired Secretary-Treasurer O'Rourke Sales Co.


Caroline Ruhl

Campaign Co-Chair

Member, SAU Board of Trustees
President and Co-Owner, Ruhl & Ruhl Realtors


Thomas Berthel '74

Campaign Co-Chair

Member, SAU Board of Trustees

CEO, Berthel Fisher & Co.


Steve Roell '71

Campaign Co-Chair

Member, SAU Board of Trustees

Retired Chairman and
CEO Johnson Controls


Lower Level
Lower Level

Lower Level

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First Level
First Level

First Level

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Second Level
Second Level

Second Level

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Before and After

Message from the Dean

Maritza Espina

Dean, College of Business

"I am honored to come to the College of Business at such a pivotal and exciting time. In today’s competitive environment, we must be sure that the COB stays relevant, not only with the curriculum we offer, but the way we teach. Moving the COB to the renovated and expanded McMullen Hall will strengthen our brand, our programs and the learning experience. The new classroom formats will encourage active learning – allowing our students to engage with the material, participate in the class, and collaborate with each other. The students demonstrate a process, analyze an argument, or apply a concept to a real-world situation. This experience, developing both the technical and premium skills needed to succeed, lays the foundation for success in whatever endeavors they pursue. Join us on this journey and help us make McMullen Hall a place for Business"

Preparing for the Contemporary
Workplace Environment

Our faculty are preparing students for the business world and the learning environment of the COB will reflect a contemporary corporate business setting. Teaching and learning spaces will be dynamic and flexible with a greater emphasis on teams and collaboration, to allow for greater engagement and to maximize learning outcomes for students.

Janet Sichterman

MBA'89, MAC'04, MOL'13

EVP for Enterprise Innovation

Kent Corporation

"It has always been very important to me to work in and for an organization with core values like my own. St. Ambrose is all about that. St. Ambrose is all about teaching you how to reach your absolute potential, strive for the top, and learn how good leaders lead."
Read more about Janet in a Fall 2018 Scene profile.

Steve Roell '71

Chairman and CEO, Johnson Controls, Retired

St. Ambrose University Board of Trustees Member

“I always think of my development in building blocks in terms of how I accomplish things and I really have to acknowledge that St. Ambrose is the foundation for my education and business career. St. Ambrose provided me with the educational base that allowed me to build my professional career.”  

Angela Lindsay


AVP Sales, Southeast Region, Nationwide Insurance

St. Ambrose University Board of Trustees Member

"While I may not have been a leader when I came to St. Ambrose, I was when I left, and that changed the way I approached my entire career. SAU taught me to think strategically from the leadership level, and I’ve been a leader in every role I’ve had. The College of Business is focused on preparing students for a real world that may look different from what they are used to, with the hard and soft skills that will help them cope with the rapid pace of change and the global workplace"


Academic programs within the COB have been updated, with a constant integration of new technologies, to prepare students with underlying theory and real world experience.  In the past decade, the College of Business has added new undergraduate and graduate programs in response to society’s changing needs. 

Paul Koch

Provost and Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs

"The McMullen Hall project is much more than a new building for the College of Business. It allows the university to provide active and engaging learning spaces like the state-of-the-art Finance Lab, which will provide students in-depth experience with some of the leading technology and software in use by professionals today. This will better prepare our graduates and give them a competitive edge in the workplace."

Joe Kehoe

Professor and Director, Sales Institute

"The mission of the Sales Program is to equip our students with the tools to add value immediately when they start working.  The new COB environment will be the ideal combination of flexible space and modern technology to support our mission.  We will be much better equipped to recruit students and help them develop the skills and habits which breed confidence and contribute to high performance."
Read more about the Sales program

John Byrne

Professor and Marketing Chair

"It is critical for the College of Business to provide students a physical learning environment which reflects the professionalism and integrity it expects them to act with upon entering the workforce. A first class facility will inspire success and excellence."
More on John Byrne

Tom Hosmanek

Adjunct Faculty Member, Sales Program

"By providing an experiential education, with in-class role-plays and outside projects with employers, they'll know more about how things work out there and be comfortable with the workplace before they get there."
More on experiential learning in the Sales Program

Agility in Higher Ed

St. Ambrose University has endured in part due to strategic and nimble responses to the changing needs of students and our community. Now is the time for the College of Business – responding to the changing needs of business, ensuring the success of our students and anticipating and preparing for changes on the horizon. 

Joan Lescinski, CSJ

President of St. Ambrose University

"Agility is not just for entrepreneurs. Higher education must also be agile to innovate. A successful university must continually visualize and execute strategies that will improve the student experience and outcomes. The College of Business has a solid foundation of our history, faculty and programs. Now it’s time to make McMullen Hall a place for business." 

Sandra Cassady

Vice President of Strategic Initiatives

"A strength of St. Ambrose University is our strategic review of what our students need to succeed in their field, as well as preparing them to meet the changing needs of society.  In our ongoing review of existing programs and consideration of new programs, we need to consider the "Now, the Near and the Far," so that our graduates are equipped with the knowledge and skills needed now and in the future. In the fast pace of the business world, this is particularly important - the model of the past is no longer tenable."

Monica Forret '88

Professor and Director, DBA Program

"I'm very excited for our newly designed space. This will greatly enhance the visibility of the College of Business and provide much more suitable facilities for our undergraduate and graduate students. McMullen Hall will reflect the strength of our programs. I think our COB alums will be proud to see the investment in their College and we'll be thrilled to show it to prospective students."
Read more about the growing success of our DBA program in a Fall 2018 Scene story.

Jim Van Speybroeck '60

Professor Emeritus, Adjunct MBA Faculty

"I believe the whole is always greater than the sum of its parts.  The chief benefit of the new Building of Business is the incalculable value to the student who will enjoy the collective expertise of all the faculty of COB, both graduate and undergraduate, in a single unified  location."

History and Foundation

Business education always has been a primary curricular focus at St. Ambrose. Founded as a seminary in 1882, the school also provided a curriculum of basic commerce at the time. Bookkeeping, reading, letter writing and math were just some of the courses taught to ensure students would be able to find employment and contribute to their communities. As business needs and practices changed dramatically over the ensuing 136 years, business education has evolved as well.

Fr. George McDaniel '66

History Professor, Emeritus

“Our evolution was about meeting needs – the young men after WW1 needed jobs, and the courses that were going to get them jobs. And some of those were business courses. So in that way, what we know as the College of Business evolved into what we have today.”