Marquette Business officially opens fully donor-funded Dr. E. J. and Margaret O’Brien Hall, ushers in new era

Jan. 18, 2023

O'Brien Hall (Interior)MILWAUKEE — A new era for Marquette University’s College of Business Administration is underway as Dr. E. J. and Margaret O’Brien Hall opened its doors to students, faculty, staff and visitors with the start of the spring 2023 semester on Tuesday, Jan. 17, less than two years after the first shovels went into the ground at the corner of 16th Street and Wisconsin Avenue.

The largest fully donor-funded construction project in university history, O’Brien Hall is the new home for the College of Business Administration, Graduate School of Management and innovation leadership programs. The $60 million, 100,000 square-foot facility was built for the future with maximum flexibility and state-of-the-art, globally connective technology, anchoring the west gateway to campus.

“Today marks a proud moment in Marquette’s history, as Marquette Business students, faculty and staff begin the semester in their new home,” President Michael R. Lovell says. “O’Brien Hall will serve as a convening space and a major catalyst to grow the pipeline of future Catholic, Jesuit-educated business leaders for years to come. I want to thank our passionate Marquette alumni and friends and recognize their remarkable generosity — they truly were the difference in getting us to this important milestone.”

Marquette Business graduates students who have the knowledge to succeed, the principles to lead and the confidence to connect what’s good for business with what’s good for people. The college is ranked 108th among U.S. News and World Report’s Best Undergraduate Business Schools, and its specialty programs in accounting, finance, real estate and supply chain management are all ranked in the top 25 nationally. Marquette Business is home to six Centers of Excellence across a variety of exciting disciplines — each offers students unique applied learning opportunities, including meaningful interaction with industry, networking, case competitions and service.

“Since good business — business with purpose — isn’t done in a silo, O’Brien Hall emphasizes innovative, collaborative spaces where our students are immersed in experiential learning and creative solutions every day,” says Tim Hanley, acting Keyes Dean of Business Administration. “Here, future accountants will team with aspiring marketers, and next-generation bankers will map balance sheets with up-and-coming developers. This truly is a game-changing facility for Marquette Business and the university.”

Highlighted by an open, welcoming atrium — the Wintrust Gallery — O’Brien Hall features collaborative classrooms and lab and study spaces, as well as a host of signature spaces, including:

  • Joseph P. Daniels Dean’s Office — Located in the second-floor Zurn Elkay Dean’s Suite, the dean’s office honors the beloved late Keyes Dean of Business Administration Dr. Joe Daniels.
  • Swift Student Center — A centralized space for student services and advising, student success, and the college’s Business Career Center.
  • Deloitte Foundation Innovation Lab and Pitch Pit — This space gives students an area to present ideas to faculty or partner companies and organizations.
  • Baird Applied Investment Management Lab — Home to AIM, the college’s marquee investment and financial technology program.
  • Perry and Sheila Vieth Centers of Excellence Suite — Home to Marquette Business’ specialty programs and centers, including nationally ranked programs in real estate and supply chain management.
  • Fotsch Family Innovation Room — The Opus College of Engineering’s award-winning E-Lead (Excellence in Leadership) Program has its home base in this fourth-floor classroom overlooking Wisconsin Avenue with views of downtown to the east.

O’Brien Hall also offers an event space for the Milwaukee business community; a board room where students can present information in an environment modeled after a modern-day corporate board room; and a recording studio, a soundproof room equipped with lighting, cameras and a green screen for recording lectures or presentations.

A new Brew café makes its home on O’Brien Hall’s first floor. Offering a selection of cold or hot packaged food offerings, the full-service coffee bar welcomes guests inside and on its east-facing patio.

Dr. E. J. and Margaret O’Brien Hall is the sixth completed major construction project in Marquette’s ambitious Campus Master Plan. The facility was designed by BNIM, Workshop Architects and GRAEF, and built by J.H. Findorff & Son Inc.

O’Brien Hall facts

  • Groundbreaking: Tuesday, March 23, 2021
  • Opened: Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2023
  • Total project cost: $60 million
  • Square footage: 109,000 GSF
  • Builder: J.H. Findorff & Son Inc.
  • Designers: BNIM, Workshop Architects, GRAEF

About Marquette University

Marquette University is a Catholic, Jesuit university located near the heart of downtown Milwaukee that offers a comprehensive range of majors in 11 nationally and internationally recognized colleges and schools. Through the formation of hearts and minds, Marquette prepares our 11,100 undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and professional students to lead, excel and serve as agents of positive change. And, we deliver results. Ranked in the top 20% of national universities, Marquette is recognized for its undergraduate teaching, innovation and career preparation as the sixth-best university in the country for job placement. Our focus on student success and immersive, personalized learning experiences encourages students to think critically and engage with the world around them. When students graduate with a Marquette degree, they are truly prepared and called to Be The Difference.

About Kevin Conway

Kevin Conway

Kevin is the associate director for university communication in the Office of University Relations. Contact Kevin at (414) 288-4745 or