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The power of possibilities: Chambers College Top 10 moments of 2022

The last year has been an exciting and memorable one for all of us here at the Chambers College. In 2022, students, faculty and staff watched as Reynolds Hall came to life and the first day of the fall semester was held inside our innovative new building. During the last semester, we’ve welcomed our building namesakes, Bob and Laura Reynolds, as well as our dedicated alumni, corporate partners, and prospective students and families to campus to see the possibilities of Reynolds Hall realized.

It was a milestone year that set the bar high for the future of business education as we brought our experiential learning mission to life in our new spaces, explored new research pursuits to solve global problems, and experienced increases in enrollment and student placement.

Here are a few of our most proudest moments:

The future of business education is here: Reynolds Hall opens for business

Reynolds Hall Grand Opening Ribbon Cutting with Building Namesakes

Reynolds Hall, the futuristic 186,000-square-foot complex that is transforming learning and research in higher education, officially opened in August. We held our grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony in the building’s Atrium with its namesakes, Bob and Laura Reynolds, on hand to help cut the ribbon.

Over 200 guests received a first-hand look at our new building and heard inspirational words from Bob Reynolds, WVU President Gordon Gee, Milan Puskar Dean Josh Hall, and WVU Foundation President and CEO Cynthia RothManagement Information Systems major Alexsa Ruiz spoke from a student perspective about the possibilities that the facility will bring to future generations of Mountaineers.

Watch a video about the journey of our new home: Reynolds Hall: From First Beam to Last Brick

Read about the grand opening: Reynolds Hall, transformative learning and research complex at WVU, opens for business

Read the stories of the engaged alumni who helped bring Reynolds Hall to life through their unique visions and generosity: Building Beyond

Read about each of the experiential learning labs and the vision behind them: More than Bricks and Mortar

Students make Reynolds Hall their own

Business Students Hangout on the Hoylman Social Stairs

The first day of the Fall 2022 semester kicked off in Reynolds Hall. Students quickly adapted to their new space from having class in the 300-seat Esbenshade Auditorium, engaging with alumni and employers in the Sheedy Experiential Learning Pavilion, gaining tutoring support in the Becker Academic engagement Success Center, collaborating and generating ideas with their classmates in the Innovation Hub, or studying on the Hoylman Social Stairwell. Aside from their academics, students have also enjoyed our new Gloria Jean Rosenthal Career Closet (providing students with professional attire), the downtown Student Fitness Center (which is located in the basement), as well as the Einstein Bros. Bagel Company located in the Atrium.

The new space allowed for reimagined experiences, including career-focused opportunities with employers, more student organization engagements, and our first Discover WVU days for future business student hopefuls and their families.

Learn more about the student experience and how to get involved here

On the rise: Chambers College welcomes largest incoming class (again!)

Students Attend Class in Reynolds Hall Auditorium The Chambers College welcomed yet another record-breaking freshmen class with over 700 incoming business students in fall of 2022, an increase of 100 students from our 2021 class. The College also surpassed 3,000 undergraduate students, an increase of 25 percent since the fall of 2017.

See a full list of our available undergraduate degrees here.

Mastering it

Photo of graduate students in class.

Growth isn’t limited to our undergraduate students. Graduate programs enrollment has climbed 78 percent since the fall of 2018 thanks to cutting-edge, fully-online programs in MS Economics, MS Cybersecurity and MS in Human Resource Leadership. Our online MBA program was ranked in the top 30 public MBA programs by U.S. News and World Report in 2022.

Learn more about all of our available graduate programs here.

Empowerment Series inspires students, faculty and staff

Morris Morrison Speaks in the Esbenshade Auditorium During his Empowerment Series in October 2022

Our Center for Career Development launched the Empowerment Series, designed to inspire students to see the possibilities on the other side of their degrees from those who have embraced their purpose and chartered successful paths in business as entrepreneurs. The first speaker featured Vienna, WV native Harry “Hap” Esbenshade, chairman and CEO of The Mountain Company, Laurel Management Group and Tri-State/Service specialty contracting companies. He is also the namesake of the Esbenshade Auditorium in Reynolds Hall and a West Virginia Business Hall of Fame inductee. The second speaker was College alumnus Morris Morrison, CEO of Storymaker Brands, who motivates audiences to persevere through their circumstances to compete.

Learn more about how our alumni are inspiring the next generation of business leaders here

Driving outcomes: placement numbers and Career Fair participation climbs

During the Fall 2022 semester, more than 800 business students attended the Career and Internship Fair (hosted by our Center for Career Development) where they practiced their soft skills and networked with employers on campus.

A Female Business Students Talks to an Employer at the Career Fair

Students are taking what they are learning in the classroom and using it to impress in the marketplace. 90 percent or better of our May 2022 Management Information Systems, Accounting (BS), Master of Accountancy, and Master of Science in Human Resources Management graduates were all placed in a job or entered graduate school six months after graduation.

Our Master of Accountancy students achieved a 75 percent pass rate on the CPA exam, which is above the national average.

During the 2021-22 academic year, our alumni generously engaged in over 550 hours of career coaching, resume reviews, mock interviews, class presentations and industry site visits to help our business students get ready for the marketplace.

During the fall 2022 semester, over 200 students engaged in industry site visits that gave them a first-hand look at the inside operations of large corporations, small businesses, and tourism in the state.

Connect with the Center for Career Development to learn how they prepare our students for the marketplace.

Elevating our R1 mission through world-class research

Business Students Enjoy the New Roll Capital Markets Center in Reynolds Hall From using data to predict where COVID tests are needed, to studying mental health and burnout in cybersecurity, our Chambers College faculty continued to move research forward in support of WVU’s R1 designation.

Read about some of our faculty’s research that is solving global problems over the past year below:

Bringing our land-grant mission to life through our outreach centers

Photo of Brad Price and Josh Meadows.

The Chambers College outreach footprint has expanded to house a dozen centers (and growing!) in Reynolds Hall. Each center has a unique purpose of creating synergies that forge a stronger West Virginia.

Data Driven WV serves our land-grant mission in measurable ways by connecting organizations, including business, non-profits and government entities, with WVU students and faculty to provide data-driven, technical insights and solutions. Through the faculty leadership of renowned data scientist Brad Price, they bridge the skills gap in West Virginia communities through service-oriented outreach, community projects and subject matter expertise in cybersecurity and data analytics.

At the height of the pandemic, they played a leading role in the West Virginia Interagency Task Force’s efforts to mitigate COVID-19 by tracking and predicting PPE needs and building an inventory management system for vaccine distribution.

With the addition of Director Joshua Meadows, the team is now bringing that same commitment to serving the state into the experiential learning lab dedicated to Data Analytics in Reynolds Hall.

Read more about how Data Driven WV has been serving the state: Chambers College students help small businesses grow

The Bureau for Business and Economic Research

Since the 1940s, the BBER’s mission has been to serve the people of West Virginia by providing the state’s business and policymaking communities with reliable data and rigorous applied economic research and analysis that enables the state’s leaders to design better business practices and public policies.

Each year, the Bureau for Business and Economic Research is charged with crafting the economic outlook report for West Virginia, which they deliver at the Economic Outlook Conference series in the fall.

The KNEE Center for Occupational Regulation is the newest addition to the Chambers College. Their mission is focused on providing information to citizens, policy makers, and other researchers about the extent, scope, and effects of occupational regulation. It offers student fellows the opportunity to conduct, analyze, and present research that goes toward developing a national database of occupational regulation, focusing on healthcare and other occupations.

Learn more about our Outreach Centers here and stay tuned for an in-depth look at our Centers in our 2024 Business Magazine edition, coming this winter.

Bridging Innovation Week ignites big ideas

Bridging Innovation Week Took Place in Charleston, WV, in April 2022

The next generation of innovators painted a hopeful picture for the Mountain State’s future during the first, in-person Bridging Innovation Week that took place in Charleston in April 2022. Brought to life by the Encova Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and Vantage Ventures, it demonstrated the power of West Virginia’s partnerships, people and possibilities under one roof. Not only did it showcase the momentum and energy of our state’s start-up movement, but it also brought together established entrepreneurs and business champions to inspire and support rising innovators.

Read about Bridging Innovation Week and its outcomes: Rising West Virginia entrepreneurs own their futures during Bridging Innovation Week

Reimagining economics education through a transformational gift

Namesakes of the Kendrick Gift that will Support Reynolds Hall

The largest gift in Chambers College history came to life from the generosity and vision of longtime supporters Ken and Randy Kendrick. It will allow the Chambers College to transform economics education through innovative programs for high-schoolers and educators statewide via the new Kendrick Center for an Ethical Economy. The Kendrick Center complements a reimagined vision for business education at WVU.

Read more about the transformational gift for the Kendrick Center: WVU announces $40M partnership to expand economics education in West Virginia

We hope you enjoyed looking back on some of our College’s proudest moments of 2022.

Wishing our Chambers College family a happy, healthy and hopeful 2023!

Stay up-to-date on Chambers College news by following us on social at @wvuchambers.

SH/HR 12/05/22

CONTACT: Heather Richardson
Assistant Dean for Strategic Communications
WVU John Chambers College of Business and Economics, Strategic Communications

Chambers College