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Former dorm to be converted into business school for Emory & Henry

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EMORY, Va. — Emory & Henry College grabbed for the future while reaching into the past Friday.

The college announced a new home for the School of Business at an old spot on campus.

Generations of E&H students remember Carriger Hall as a men’s dorm, complete with pool tables in the common area, bedrooms and an enviable spot in the middle of campus. Future generations will remember the building between the library and McGlothlin Center for the Arts as a place of business with breakout rooms, conference and board meeting rooms, classrooms, distance learning facilities and presentation rooms.

E&H President John W. Wells said renovations will honor the building’s past, maintaining the architectural flourishes and history. An architect from Atlanta, Georgia, was tasked with developing the plan for the space.

Bill Pendleton, a 1972 graduate of E&H who now lives in Atlanta, said the designs maintain the historical integrity of the nearly 120-year-old building.

The west wing of Carriger was built in 1904 thanks to $25,000 given by the Carnegie Foundation. Pendleton said the foundation wanted the college to build classrooms; instead, E&H built a dorm. The east wing of the former dorm was added as a YMCA building in 1908. The college again asked for funding from the Carnegie Foundation and was told no, largely because of the decision to not build classrooms.

“Now we’re doing what Mr. (Andrew) Carnegie wanted us to do,” Pendleton said.

A Wytheville native, Pendleton said the college has been talking about launching a business school for 15 years, pointing out that 35% of students want to major in a business-related field.

The school, Pendleton said, has all the funds needed before even starting construction. E&H expects renovations to be completed in 2022.

Last year, Emmet P. Tracy was named dean of the newly formed school of business.

As the oldest college in Southwest Virginia, Wells said Emory & Henry maintains its past while renewing itself with each new generation. He promised that the school of business will play an important role in rebuilding the economic infrastructure and vitality of this part of the country.

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