A Joyous Moment

Don and Ellie Knauss, alongside top USD administrators, cut the ribbon to open the Knauss School of Business


The Knauss School of Business has a new home. 

The Knauss Center for Business Education officially opened in early August, following a ribbon cutting ceremony that featured Board Chairman Donald Knauss and his wife, Ellie.

In December 2021, the couple increased their philanthropic giving to the university to $50 million to help fund construction of the new facility. In honor of the gift — one of the largest in USD history — the business school was renamed the Knauss School of Business. 

Members of the USD community gathered around the fountain in Paseo de Colachis to celebrate the ceremonial opening of the 20,000-square-foot building. Together with the recently renovated Olin Hall, the new complex has more than tripled the school’s size. 

Standing before the steps leading to the building’s polished stone archway entrance, Don and Ellie enthusiastically offered their unwavering support for USD. 

“We believe in the leadership of this university, and we believe that talent is everywhere, but opportunity is not,” said Don. “This investment is going to create opportunities for a lot of talented students from all walks of life for generations to come.” 

“This day is the culmination of our core belief that education is the great equalizer,” Ellie said. “We know that the Knauss School of Business, and this world-class facility, are going to provide young adults the ability to maximize their God-given talents. They are going to ensure that we confront humanity’s most urgent challenges and do it with loving hearts.” 

Don had a message for current and future students of the school: “You’ve got a combination of world-class technology, world-class faculty and now this incredibly inspiring structure to work and learn in, so take full advantage of it.” — Matthew Piechalak

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