Thursday, May 19, 2022

School of Packaging hosts groundbreaking for building renovation

April 20, 2022
<p>The ground breaking for the new Packaging Building on MSU&#x27;s campus on April 19, 2022.</p>

The ground breaking for the new Packaging Building on MSU's campus on April 19, 2022.

Photo by Lauren Snyder | The State News

Michigan State University's School of Packaging held a groundbreaking ceremony April 19 to commemorate the start of much-needed renovations to the school's main building.

In attendance was MSU President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., Provost Teresa K. Woodruff and Trustees Dianne Byrum and Melanie Foster, who all made their way to Parking Lot 49 to celebrate the occasion.

Hosting the event was School of Packaging Director Matthew Daum, who was appointed in 2020. During that time Daum has pushed for change throughout the school, with the renovations being the first of three phases to initiate that change.

"This first strategic initiative is all about investing in a facility that represents the thought leadership of our students and alumni, creates a gathering place for the best and brightest and packaging and inspires students, faculty and staff towards a brighter future," Daum said.

Planned improvements to the building, which hasn't been renovated since 1986, include a new office wing, sustainability lab, atrium and classroom. Packaging senior Lily Kirkman spoke to the crowd about how these improvements will improve the student experience in the school.

She cited lack of event or study spaces as the primary needs, and said the renovations will address those.

"I'm thrilled to see the School of Packaging turn from an outdated building to a hub of connections and learning," Kirkman said. "This program is amazing and having a state of the art facility to match it will only increase the value to the packaging industry."

The project was funded primarily through donors, with donations equalling more than $10 million according to a MSU press release.

Top donors included retired packaging engineer and MSU alumnus Charles Frasier and his wife, Jaqueline, Ring Container Technologies and Amcor.

Amcor CEO Ron Delia spoke to a new partnership between his company and the school, emphasizing "shared values" between the two organizations.

"We expect the joint effort as represented by this partnership to enable us, meaning Michigan State and Amcor, to innovate and to challenge each other," Delia said.

He also highlighted the importance of sustainability in the industry, and the impact the renovations will have on progress in the area.

"It's a unique moment in time in the packaging industry as consumers around the world are more and more focused on sustainable outcomes and their own impact on the planet," Delia said. "And what better opportunity than to bring to leading institutions like MSU and Amcor together to advance those objectives?"

As for the next phases of the school's strategic plan, Daum said the second phase will focus on making the "program the most diverse pool of talented faculty and students ready for industry", and the third will create "new financial partnerships between industry and university".

For now, the building renovations are the primary focus. MSU estimates they will be completed by spring 2023.

Support student media! Please consider donating to The State News and help fund the future of journalism.

Discussion

Share and discuss “School of Packaging hosts groundbreaking for building renovation” on social media.