Saint John and UNB community gathered for a historic announcement.

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The UNBSJ Master of Business Administration (MBA) program has officially relocated from 100 Tucker Park Road to the Grand Hall building in uptown Saint John.

Ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Grand Hall building in uptown Saint John. (Amelia Bailey/The Baron)

The move was first proposed in June of 2019. Since then, the top three floors of the former Scotiabank building have been renovated to house the programs of more than 90 MBA students.

Director of the MBA program, Shelley Rinehart, explained that the re-location would provide students with “the opportunity to engage with business and social leaders every day.”

MP Wayne Long announcing the Government of Canada’s contribution to the development of the new space for MBA students. (Amelia Bailey/The Baron)

MP Wayne Long announced that the Government of Canada, through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency’s (ACOA) Regional Economic Growth Through Innovation (REGI) program, has provided a contribution of $750,000 towards the development of the new space.

UNB vice-president Petra Hauf explained, “we need, what I like to call, a ‘collision space,’ where people meet, reflect, talk to each other and share – share ideas, share experiences, share energy, share passion.”

EDGSJ Chair Andrew Oland addressing the Saint John and UNB community, alongside director of the MBA program, Shelley Reinheart. (Amelia Bailey/The Baron)

Economic Development Greater Saint John (EDGSJ) Chair Andrew Oland also announced the partnership between EDGSJ and UNB to co-locate their start-up incubator called Block One in the Grand Hall building. The space reserved for EDGSJ is currently being renovated.

The announcements were followed with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, a Grand Hall cake, decorative cupcakes, and tours of the renovated floors. (Amelia Bailey/The Baron)

The final speaker at the event was the president of the MBA society, Sherif Salaam, who expressed excitement for the future of the MBA program in Saint John.

“It gives my colleagues from different counties a sense of belonging in Saint John by placing us in the heart of the city. We are thankful for giving us a business-school feel, a business-school environment. It puts us closer to the business leaders and our potential employers, and government offices and agencies,” said Salaam.

Mayor Don Darling and UNB President Paul Mazerolle also expressed their optimism for the future of UNB-community relations in their speeches at the event.