Outlook

Herberger gift launches Centennial Hall revamp

Thursday, September 28, 2006

The announcement of a $500,000 gift from the family of SCSU G.R. Herberger College of Business namesake and former St. Cloud businessman G.R. Herberger was the highlight of a May kickoff celebration for the renovation of Centennial Hall, SCSU’s former library.

Following extensive construction, Centennial will be the new home of the G.R. Herberger College of Business, named for the founder of Herberger’s department stores.

Herberger gift launches Centennial Hall revamp

Members of the Herberger family came to campus for the Centennial Hall renovation kick-off celebration. President Saigo, Billie Jo, Judd, Gary and Jeanne herberger and Barbara Saigo.

The college was named after the highly respected businessman and philanthropist in response to the Herberger family’s gift of $3 million to SCSU in 1999, the year of G.R. Herberger’s death. That gift has provided an endowment to support academic excellence for the college, which has been accredited by AACSB International, the premier accrediting body for business education, for 30 years.

G.R. "Bob" Herberger, who moved his family from St. Cloud to Arizona in 1947, built a family tradition of philanthropy, founding the Herberger Foundation in 1961 to support such charities as the Salvation Army and Arizona State University with major gifts.

G.R. Herberger’s sons Gary and Judd and their families returned to Minnesota, where they spent summers in their youth, for the announcement of their gift to the Centennial Hall Renovation Campaign in May. At that time SCSU President Roy H. Saigo presented a new honor for the family – the naming of the Herberger Plaza adjacent to Centennial Hall.

Gary and Judd Herberger told campus and community guests at the kickoff event that their father was extremely proud of the hometown college during the years he was a business leader in St. Cloud and of the university it has become.

"This generous gift for the Centennial Hall Renovation Campaign will go a long way toward completing this beautiful new facility for the G.R. Herberger College of Business," said President Saigo. The renovation, expected to be finished in spring 2008, is being funded with $13 million in state bonding funds and $2.2 million to be raised through private gifts.

The transformation of Centennial Hall also will provide a new home for the SCSU Center for Student Success and for the philosophy department. The Center for Student Success will combine the Advising Center, Career Services, the Honors Program, Math Skills Center, SCSU Multicultural Student Services and other essential services for students. The Husky Bookstore and the Center for Information Systems will remain in the building.

- Marsha Shoemaker

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