Southern Arkansas University will hold a grand opening celebration of its entrepreneurial innovation hub, SAU Beyond the Campus, at 4 p.m. Tuesday.
The retail store, 113 N. Jefferson, West Court Square in downtown Magnolia, is the result of a donation by Bobbie Ruth Webb in July 2017.
The 3,400-square-foot building has retail space at the front and a portion dedicated to community education at the back. The community education division is set to open later this fall.
SAU Beyond the Campus is a student-managed, career-training center dedicated to providing graduate students enrolled at the university the opportunity to sharpen career-readiness skills while earning a Master of Business Administration.
The inaugural management team consists of three MBA students at SAU—Jeremy Hunter of Magnolia, Ark.; Macy Moseley of Fordyce, Ark.; and Ja'Corey Porchia of Stephens, Ark. Each earned a Bachelor of Business Administration from SAU in the fields of supply chain management, marketing and accounting, respectively. By managing the retail store as a team, the students will develop necessary collaborative skills that will provide an edge in the marketplace.
"Student success at SAU is our number one priority," university President Dr. Trey Berry said in a news release. "SAU is proud to be part of Magnolia, and we are excited to have an even greater presence downtown. I can think of no better way to provide our students hands-on experience and employment opportunities while earning their degrees."
According to Berry, the management team will oversee all aspects of an entrepreneurial retail business, from ordering and pricing merchandise to managing employees. The store will sell SAU merchandise, Magnolia merchandise and books as part of its partnership with Barnes & Noble, the campus bookstore provider.
The grand opening is scheduled in conjunction with Blue and Gold Day. Festivities on the square will be from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. and include free activities provided by SAU, as well as pep rallies by university and Magnolia High School cheerleaders and bands.