GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Heavener Hall, the Warrington College of Business Administration’s new home for undergraduate programs and activities, was officially dedicated during a ceremony Friday afternoon on the business campus.
Among the distinguished guests in attendance were University of Florida President Bernie Machen, Warrington Dean John Kraft and James W. “Bill” Heavener (BSBA ’70), whose lead gift spearheads a $35 million initiative to invest in undergraduate business education. Heavener Hall and the Heavener School of Business were named in his honor.
“Heavener Hall is a state-of-the-art facility entirely dedicated to undergraduate business students,” Kraft said. “The vision and support of Bill Heavener and many donors have made this possible.”
Heavener Hall fulfills the College’s long-desired vision of having its undergraduate business programs and activities housed under one roof. The building, situated at the bustling corner of West University Avenue and Southwest 13th Street, is student-oriented with a professional, but vibrant atmosphere. Heavener Hall will showcase the accomplishments of Heavener students while supporting academic and extracurricular activities.
The College’s undergraduate programs and activities, which serve more than 5,000 students, more than 30 student organizations and numerous career and leadership programs, were dispersed throughout the Warrington campus. Heavener Hall provides a true home for undergraduate business students.
“It is my great privilege and honor to return to campus today to celebrate the dedication of Heavener Hall and the Heavener School of Business,” Heavener said. “My hope is that this facility serves to instill an ever-present propensity for learning, and the opportunity for continued success to the many generations of business students to come.”
The new building includes nine contemporary classrooms, an open Commons for impromptu collaboration, 16 intimate study rooms, a large, multi-purpose area for events and organization meetings, academic advising space, a technology assistance center, office/meeting space for Heavener School of Business staff and a small café. Unifying these instructional spaces, student services and social areas in a single location will enrich the learning experience of each and every Heavener student.
Heavener Hall is the second state-of-the-art building to be constructed on the business campus in the past four years. Hough Hall, a $23 million facility that houses the College’s graduate studies, was completed in 2010.
“One of our chief priorities for our undergraduates is to foster a greater sense of community and a stronger feeling of shared purpose,” Machen said. “Thanks to Bill Heavener’s generosity, Heavener Hall will bring our business students together under one roof to attend classes and college events, network and socialize, study and work on projects – in short, to draw on each other’s strengths and interests so that they learn and grow together.”
Mr. Heavener is CEO of The Heavener Company, and is on the boards of directors of multiple institutions of higher education including Full Sail University where he serves as co-chairman and CEO. Additionally, Mr. Heavener is a member of the Warrington Business Advisory Council, the UF Foundation Board of Directors, the UF Alumni Association Board of Directors and is a past president and Legacy Director of the Board of Directors of Gators Boosters Inc. He is a recipient of the UF Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2011, and was named to the UF Board of Trustees in June 2013.
Mr. Heavener received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from UF in 1970, and is a graduate of the Harvard Business School Owner/President Management program.
The design and construction of Heavener Hall was led by SchenkelShultz Architecture of Orlando (architects of record) Robert A.M. Stern Architects of New York (design architects), Ajax Building Corporation of Tallahassee (project manager), Moses & Associates of Gainesville (mechanical, electrical, plumbing fire protection and telecommunications/security engineers), Walter P. Moore of Tampa (structural engineers), JBrown Professional Group of Gainesville (civil engineers), David Conner & Associates of Tampa (landscape architects) and CannonDesign of Washington D.C. (branding and graphic designers).