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DAVENPORT —Nestlé Purina PetCare, a local producer pet food brands and a  supporter of St. Ambrose University and its students, has announced a $25,000 gift to assist the expansion and renovation of McMullen Hall.

The gift from Purina will help the university provide a dedicated, new home for the St. Ambrose College of Business and its eight undergraduate majors and four graduate degree programs starting in the fall of 2020.

“This strong support from Purina is essential as St. Ambrose works to provide our students with modern facilities that will help prepare them to enter a highly competitive and fully modern professional world,” said Sister Joan Lescinski, CSJ, PhD, president of St. Ambrose. “Purina employs a number of well-prepared St. Ambrose alumni and helps educate numerous Ambrosians as a valued provider of student internships. We are very appreciative of their belief in our mission and students.”

Purina is the leading pet care company in the U.S. and ranks among the top 20 employers in the Quad-City region, with 685 employees working in facilities in Davenport and Clinton.

Since 1986, Purina’s support of St. Ambrose students, programs and facilities totals over $100,000. This is the second $25,000 gift by Purina to an SAU capital campaign in the last six years. The company also supported the Building Our Future Campaign that helped open the Wellness and Recreation Center on the north end of campus in 2017.

“Purina is committed to the Quad Cities community and to developing a strong workforce,” said Casey Hansen, Purina Factory Manager in Davenport. “Purina employs St. Ambrose alumni, and we value our relationship with the school. We recognize the importance of supporting educational institutions in the communities where we have a presence – St. Ambrose is helping develop the talent and skill sets to support a strong culture at companies like Purina.”

The project cost of the McMullen Hall initiative is $8.3 million and includes both renovation and expansion, providing 38,000 square feet for this academic building. The hallmark of the new McMullen Hall construction will be a two-story, light-filled atrium that is fully framed and enclosed. Major design features include six classrooms able to accommodate new methods of learning and teaching, as well as a computer lab, a finance lab, a sales lab, a co-curricular lab, a large tiered lecture hall, multi-functional classroom space, and a student commons area.

Additional interior remodeling will provide an office suite for the Dean of the College of Business and office space for faculty and staff.