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JoAnne Namy
Kelley School of Business

Lura Forcum
Kelley School of Business

Last modified: Wednesday, December 10, 2008

New Kelley Living Learning Center to open doors in fall 2009

Dec. 10, 2008

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Students in Indiana University's Kelley School of Business who wish to eat, sleep and breathe business with a community of like-minded colleagues have an exciting new option for campus housing.

Kelley LLC

Business Communication Lecturer Tatiana Kolovou speaks with a student at a recent thematic community event held at McNutt.

Print-Quality Photo

The Kelley School of Business Living Learning Center (LLC) will open its doors for the 2009 fall semester, housing 250 undergraduate students who live together, take courses together and participate in extracurricular programs that develop a sense of community among students and enable faculty to mentor students.

The living learning center will be housed in the McNutt Quadrangle, just a block away from the Kelley School. About half of the LLC's residents will be direct admits to Kelley and the other half will be pre-business students preparing to apply for admission to Kelley. In the LLC's second year, it will expand to 500 students before reaching its full size of 750 students after three years.

While students will study business topics, they will also be exposed to the many opportunities that IU offers for becoming a well-rounded person -- such as opera, musical performances, visual arts, language study and sporting events. The LLC residents will develop a strong sense of community and a life-long network.

JoAnne Namy, director of the Business Residential Community, said that thematic residence halls are becoming popular at large schools because they improve the transition from high school to college by creating a more structured experience among a smaller community of students.

"The Kelley LLC is intended to make the freshman year more engaging and involving," Namy pointed out. "Our goal is to create a more personalized college experience for students with better connections to faculty, staff, upperclassmen and alumni."

JoAnne Namy

JoAnne Namy is director of the new Kelley School of Business Living Learning Center.

The Kelley School of Business provides the Center for Leadership Development, workshops and clubs, among other activities to make students' college experience personalized and relevant.

"The LLC is another stellar addition that will take this concept to the next level," said M.A. Venkataramanan, chair of Kelley's undergraduate program.

The Kelley LLC is designed to be a diverse and inclusive community, with students of all religions, cultural and ethnic backgrounds from all over the world and the United States. Malik McCluskey, director for diversity initiatives at Kelley, believes the LLC's sense of community should make it easier to nurture and guide students.

"The Kelley LLC is a major step toward fostering an affirming environment, one in which students of all backgrounds feel engaged and empowered at the Kelley School," McCluskey said. "Not only will this initiative help with the recruitment and retention of all students but -- given globalization as well as demographic shifts within this nation -- it will create an inclusive environment, which is critical for the very future of the school."

The LLC model is not a new concept for IU. The university established the Collins LLC in 1972, with a focus on the arts. Additional LLCs are devoted to fitness and wellness, the global village, African-American history and culture and outdoor adventure, among other things. Last year the IU School of Journalism launched an LLC intended to showcase the school's offerings and create a community of students interested in media, regardless of their major.

In the 2007-08 academic year, Kelley tested the LLC concept by creating a thematic community for 100 students that focused on business but did not require a business major. The success of the thematic community and preliminary interest in the new LLC leads Namy to estimate that she will receive five to six times more applications than there are spaces for students.

Luke Leftwich, associate director of undergraduate programs at Kelley, said that students traditionally think of living and learning as two separate parts of their college experience. "The goal of the Kelley LLC is to bridge that gap. And the research literature shows that this sort of environment leads to greater student engagement and higher retention rates," Leftwich observed.

Venkataramanan added, "The LLC will be a microcosm of what we would like Kelley to be: an inclusive and diverse community of engaged students who embrace learning inside and outside of the classroom."