As Reynolds Hall, the new hub for business education on the campus of West Virginia University continues to build on the Morgantown waterfront, a John Chambers College of Business and Economics alumnus has given a gift that will ensure that it will build the business leaders of the future by way of experiential learning when it opens in 2022.
Visa executive and WVU alumnus William Sheedy and his wife, Patricia, are donating $2.5 million to the Chambers College for an experiential learning pavilion.
At the heart of a reimagined vision for business education within the Chambers College, the new pavilion will connect students with industry and corporate partners through outreach and research centers. The space emphasizes the value of practical experiences and exposes students to companies outside of a traditional classroom environment, preparing them to meet the demands of a rapidly changing global business marketplace – demands that Sheedy knows firsthand as a Visa senior executive for over 25 years.
“Bill Sheedy has been responsible for driving tremendous growth in technology and global financial services in his roles at Visa, and because of the generosity of Bill and his wife, Patti, they will be drivers of growth for the business school giving future Mountaineers unparalleled advantages in developing successful careers,” WVU President Gordon Gee said. “I am enormously grateful for their gift that will place our University as a leader in business education.”
The Sheedys connected with the idea that this space would be a differentiator for WVU in the marketplace.
“We are honored to have an opportunity to support the important mission of Reynolds Hall, as it prepares WVU business students for their future careers” Sheedy said. “My business education at WVU provided me with a critical foundation, encouraging me to take intelligent risks and fully dedicate myself when opportunities presented themselves. We are so pleased to be able to give something back for future generations of Mountaineers.”
Centers and institutes expected to be housed in the new pavilion include the Encova Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Professional Sales Institute, Center for Financial Literacy and Education, Bureau of Business and Economic Research, and the Social Media and Technology Lab. These spaces are designed to give students hands-on experiences to cultivate an entrepreneurial mindset – which has been the driving force of the vision for Reynolds Hall guided by Javier Reyes, Milan Puskar Dean of the Chambers College.
“The Sheedy Family Pavilion will be the heart of our mission of Reynolds Hall – to give students experiences that will allow them to problem-solve by doing,” Reyes said. “Bill and Patti connected to this pavilion because it is truly the space where you will see business education happening all around you. They understand the impact it will make with our students, positioning them to innovate and compete as they enter a workforce that is rapidly changing as a result of COVID-19.”
In 2019, WVU began demolition of Stansbury Hall to make way for the new building. Reynolds Hall – named after alumnus Robert “Bob” Reynolds and his wife Laura, who donated $10 million to the project – is slated to be completed in 2022. The new complex will be a collaborative space that combines technology, innovation and state-of-the-art programming to support learning by application and develop students into business leaders of the future.
Sheedy, a 2014 commencement speaker and inductee into the College’s Roll of Distinguished Alumni, attributes his success to expanding his experience, taking smart risks and learning from others – along with a solid educational foundation from WVU. A native of Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania, he earned his bachelor’s degree in finance from WVU in 1988 and an MBA from the University of Notre Dame in 1990.
With Visa since 1993, Sheedy has held many roles to help shape one of the world’s largest companies and the largest global payment network. Prior to his current role as Executive Vice President, Sheedy was CEO of Visa’s European region. Previously, as Group President, Americas, he oversaw Visa’s business in North America, Central America, South America and the Caribbean, across nearly 50 countries. Further, beginning in 2007, he played a central role in managing a corporate restructuring that merged seven different Visa organizations into a single global company (Visa, Inc.), culminating in what was the largest initial public offering in U.S. history as of March 2008.
Reynolds Hall is a result of the vision and generosity of Bob and Laura Reynolds and will open in 2022. Learn more about the campaign at buildingbeyond.wvu.edu.
CONTACT: Heather Richardson
Assistant Dean of Communications, Engagement & Impact
John Chambers College of Business and Economics
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