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UCalgary opens the doors to $90 million Mathison Hall

Fourth-year University of Calgary business major Jenna Gregg got to tour the new Mathison Hall with another UCalgary biz major from years earlier.

Her mom.

The Haskayne School of Business at UCalgary officially opened the door to the new, $90 million building Monday. Students returning from winter break got their first full look at the inside the new 10,000 square metre, four-storey structure.

Gregg, who will graduate this spring, said there’s a lot here for students both inside and outside the classroom.

“I love this building. I love the design and I love all the study spaces,” she said.

 “I think it’s really impressive the technology that they have in the classrooms. It’ll really elevate our student experience and the teaching as well.”

Twelve tech-enhanced classrooms have been built, including two high-tech classrooms with 50-inch TV screens at every table.  There are also 24, six-person rooms for group work or study, 11 meeting spaces, a fireplace area, a social staircase and food services.

It also has an exclusive graduate student floor that has academic and career services… plus a lounge.

The project was first announced in 2018, boosted by an initial donation by Ron Mathison, chairman of the Matco Group. Since then, more than 200 community donors chipped in $33.7 million of the $40 million philanthropic goal.

Jim Dewald, Dean of the Haskayne School of Business said it’s the ideal blend of design and function.

“It’s a total showcase, but it’s so functional and so impactful in terms of Calgary becoming the centre of technology and innovation going forward,” he said.

Tools to teach in a tech world

Jim Dewald, Dean of UCalgary’s Haskayne School of Business. DARREN KRAUSE / LIVEWIRE CALGARY

Dewald said for years teachers have been developing new ways of teaching in order to keep up with the technology-driven times.

“Now they’ve got the infrastructure to work well with that,” he said.

He said there are mics in all classrooms, they’re wired for cameras and there are screens available for larger classroom settings and for more intimate group collaborations.

“It’s really set for the future and it’s an exciting place for faculty members to teach in,” he said.

Gregg said that the added technology just allows teams, with most members connected via laptop, to work closer together.  She said the new space is a signal of the respect the city’s business community has for the school and the program.

“It’s really inspiring to see the community investment and to show some people coming back and all the students enjoying the spaces,” she said.

Dick Haskayne, the namesake of UCalgary’s school of business, said many have graduated from this school and gone on to big things.

“Haskayne is not only a great business school – it’s one of the best – and Mathison Hall will only further enhance its global reputation,” he said.

Dewald said that Calgary is perennially one of the best places in the world to live.  He said that given the stature of the city’s business community, it’s important to have one of the best business schools in the world.

“That’s what this building is all about,” he said.

“We have the best infrastructure, we get the best professors, and we get high-quality students. The sky’s the limit.

The building was designed by architects Gibbs Gage and Diamond Schmitt and the project was built on time and within budget by Ellis Don.

Mathison Hall on the University of Calgary campus. DARREN KRAUSE / LIVEWIRE CALGARY