The places that shape us: Founders’ Hall — Editorial


Last time in The places that shape us, we took a look at the La Salle Communication Center and its humble stature and beginning. In that article, we made reference to the visually stunning Founders’ Hall, home of La Salle’s business programs. We heard the requests to dive deep into what is perhaps La Salle’s biggest success story: Founders’ Hall. 

What officially started in 2014 was one of La Salle’s most ambitious projects to date: building a home for the budding success of La Salle business. While the business school has its roots all the way back in the 1870s as the Commercial Department of La Salle College, and there have been official La Salle degrees in accounting and business administration since the 1920s, the change of the program in 2003 when it became the School of Business jumpstarted an exponential growth in interest and success of business students from La Salle. We at the Collegian watched this boom occur with several of our staff members coming through the businesses program over the years.

La Salle University

We truly love everything that the business building has to offer. We would be lying if we said it wasn’t hard for us to overlook the $35 million dollar price tag as tuition rates continue to rise for undergraduates, the architecture that does not match the rest of La Salle, or the rest of Olney/Germantown for that matter and the constant preferential treatment of the business program by parts of the administration and outside organizations, but with the love, care and resources that went into the building’s creation, we can understand why business students love it, why psychology students envy it and why it is a frequent selling point for incoming students.

One of the highlights of Founders’ Hall that does not get talked about a lot outside of the actual business major is the John Fries, ‘66 and Maureen A. Fries Trading Room, which is packed with actual Bloomberg terminals, one of the top-of-the-line software/hardware systems used by some of the biggest names on the stock market to monitor market data and analytics. The fact that students have a chance to train on these and run simulations is amazing and will really allow some students to get a leg up in the professional world. Some other boons that Founders’ has that might be hidden to Lasallians who don’t frequent it much are the Center for Entrepreneurship, a closely co-operative working center that is designed around working with students and their small business ideas, the Center for Sales Excellence, an interactive lab used by a variety of majors and the podcast recording booth used to create the “20th & Olney Podcast.”

La Salle University

It’s no surprise to us that with all of these assets and so much more behind them that business students are graduating and finding their way in the job market every day. But, there are plenty of people who frequent Founders’ Hall that may have never taken a business course. La Salle tries to keep its community engaged and connected, which is why a lot of the resources that went into creating Founders’ make it a place to shape the whole community. Perhaps the most notable of these is the La Salle Career Center. Located in Founders’ 128, the Career Center helps students from all majors find their way to internships, jobs and whole career paths every day. We’d be remiss not to mention the student-run Saxby’s Cafe, which we all know is a cool idea and a nice dining option, but it really does not get enough credit here at La Salle. There is a whole cafe on La Salle’s campus that is a completely, nearly-independently run business with a student CEO and student workers — it’s definitely unique to say the least.

Saxby’s Coffee

“One of my favorite things about La Salle is how our academic buildings are modeled after the environments in which we’ll be working after graduation. The environment of Founders’ Hall is top-notch for learning and studying. Sometimes I go there just to marvel at its beautiful architecture,” said our Business editor Elizabeth McLaughlin.

While we at the Collegian love to call out the administration and student body on things we find dissatisfactory, including many of the problems Founders’ Hall has caused in the past, we cannot help but commend the University on the masterclass of business education that they have created for us Explorers. The School of Business, and the gigantic Founders’ Hall that encompass it, are a shining star for the Lasallian community, and we can’t wait to see it continue to reach new heights.

We also can’t wait for some of that innovation to come to the rest of campus, but that’s a story for another day.

— The Editorial Board

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s