A new home for all College of Business entrepreneurship education programs is taking shape on the University of St. Thomas Minneapolis campus.

The Schulze School of Entrepreneurship, and its new $22 million home, Schulze Hall, will be named for Best Buy Co. Inc. founder Richard Schulze, a longtime friend of the university and one of the nation’s leading entrepreneurs.

St. Thomas broke ground for the technology-laden Schulze Hall in June. The four-story, 86,000-square-foot structure will open in September 2005.

The Schulze School of Entrepreneurship will bring together in one place the university’s graduate and undergraduate degree programs in entrepreneurship as well as its centers and institutes that provide entrepreneurship-related educational programs and services to the public.

“It is my goal to help the University of St. Thomas achieve ‘best in class’ in its chosen disciplines,” Schulze said, “and to become nationally recognized for students who are motivated, aspire to make a difference and want to learn while working toward the leading edge of their chosen professions. A renewed focus on building a link to successful businesses both locally and nationally will be a primary goal.”

The cost of the new hall is funded through a $50 million gift made in 2000 by Schulze and his late wife, Sandra. It remains the largest donation ever reported by a college or university in Minnesota.

Schulze Hall will use a wireless computer network and will be the university’s most technologically advanced classroom building. It will be located on the same block as Terrence Murphy Hall, the first permanent building on St. Thomas’ downtown Minneapolis campus.

Schulze Hall will feature St. Thomas’ signature Collegiate Gothic architecture and Mankato-Kasota stone. One of its features will be a two-story circular glass main entry, which provides a visual link to the curved glass atrium used by the School of Law building across the street.

St. Thomas anticipates the new facilities will increase interest in its entrepreneurship programs much like the increased interest in science programs after the 1997 opening of the Frey Science and Engineering Center on the St. Paul campus.