Gathering space

A common area in the Richard T. Doermer School of Business will be seeing more staff and students as more renovations occur in the building.

When Purdue Fort Wayne MBA candidate students came to class Jan. 11 they had a new building to call home.

The Richard T. Doermer School of Business has completed renovations, so MBA students in assistant professor of strategic management Hank Strevel's Strategic Management Capstone course got to experience the new business school.

PFW bought the property at 3000 Coliseum Blvd. E., across from its campus in 2018 for $2.8 million through the Doermer Family Foundation, Fort Wayne Foundation and two anonymous donors.

"The rooms are being outfitted with laser projectors and state-of-the-art equipment for technology in terms of teaching," dean of the Doermer School of Business, Melissa Gruys, said. "That's more high-tech than other rooms on campus."

While the business school's offices were in Neff Hall on the main campus, classes were held campuswide. Eventually all business students will take classes at the new building.

Gruys spoke as a stock ticker scrolled across a main area with bright yellow chairs where students and instructors will be able to interact with one another. The next phase of renovations will include creating a stock trading room.

"Our numbers have been soaring in the MBA program, at a time when nationwide MBA programs tend to be declining in terms of enrollment," Gruys said.

In the last three years, the MBA program alone has increased its enrollment by 89%, which is almost double the size of the program. Between spring 2020 to spring 2021, the numbers are up 26%.

The MBA program is 1 to 4 years long, with the shortest time requiring students to take three classes per 11-week module, Gruys said. The program has five "entrance points" in terms of the time of year that students can begin: August, January, May, June and July.

"It's very flexible," she said. "It's definitely not what other programs are doing in terms of the MBA."

Classes are available in person, online and a combination of the two, which helped during the COVID-19 shutdown.

A number of companies are hiring MBA students as interns, she said. "People don't think immediately of internships for MBA students, but they have really great skills."

For more about the program, go to or call 260-481-6472.

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