By Amy Blakely
The new James A. Haslam II Business Building on the campus of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is “open for business.” A grand opening celebration was held January 6, and classes in the new building began the next day.
As part of the opening festivities, College of Business Administration dean Jan Williams hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony in the multistory atrium of the building. Speakers included UT president John Petersen, UT Knoxville interim provost Susan Martin, and businessman Jim Haslam, a major UT donor for whom the new building is named.
Williams said the $46-million building represents a critical partnership between UT, the state of Tennessee, and private donors.
“State funds supported a large part of the structure. We thank the dedicated members of the Tennessee General Assembly and State Building Commission who have supported this project,” he said. “We’ve looked to private support to provide furnishings, infrastructure, and technology to complete the facility.”
The six-story 174,000-square-foot building at the corner of Andy Holt Avenue and Volunteer Boulevard houses 34 classrooms; more than 75 offices for faculty, staff, and administration; 35 team and presentation rooms; a technology center; an investments learning center; and a spectacular atrium for gatherings of students, faculty members, corporate visitors, alumni, and friends.
An alumnus of the college, Haslam—founder and chairman of the board of Pilot Travel Centers LLC and chairman of the board and president of the Pilot Corporation—and his family have been generous supporters of the university and the college. Haslam and his wife, Natalie, both 1952 graduates, have donated $7.5 million to the College of Business Administration. The money was part of a $38.2 million gift to UT.
The Haslams’ gift helped equip the building with technology. They also endowed a distinguished professorship in entrepreneurship and innovation and created the Torch Fund, which provides experiential learning through student-led investing.
The new building was constructed on the site of the former Glocker Business Administration Building, and the façade of that building was preserved as part of the new structure.
“The Glocker wing in our new building was named as a tribute to Theodore Wesley Glocker Sr., the first dean of the college,” Williams said.