Kutztown University honors legacy with grand reopening of de Francesco building

Kutztown University celebrated a momentous occasion with a ribbon-cutting ceremony last month for the newly renovated de Francesco Building, home of the College of Business. This remarkable facility is named in honor of Dr. Italo de Francesco, a revered figure in the university’s history.

Dr. de Francesco’s legacy is deeply intertwined with the history of Kutztown University. A dedicated educator and leader, he immigrated from Italy to America in 1919, eventually becoming a high school art teacher in Reading. In 1936, he joined the Kutztown State Teachers’ College Art Department and later assumed the role of director of art education at Kutztown in 1939. de Francesco’s contributions to the institution were immeasurable, and in 1959, he was appointed as Kutztown’s seventh president, a position he held until his passing in 1967.

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The de Francesco Building was first built and dedicated May 24, 1969, as the de Francesco World Cultures Classroom Building. The newly renovated de Francesco Building stands as a testament to Dr. de Francesco’s enduring influence and Kutztown University’s commitment to excellence in education. This transformation includes a full life cycle upgrade of all building systems, encompassing HVAC, electrical, plumbing and fire protection systems. The 1968 section of the building now features energy-efficient windows, promoting sustainability and energy conservation.

In addition to these enhancements, the de Francesco Building boasts a range of accessibility features, ensuring inclusivity and convenience for all. These features include accessible entrances, modern toilet facilities, student lounges, active learning classrooms, group study spaces, conference rooms equipped with state-of-the-art technology and comprehensive Wi-Fi coverage. The building is also home to the Pennsylvania Lead Offices for the Small Business Development Center, reinforcing Kutztown University’s role as a vital resource for the regional business community.

The de Francesco Building now proudly houses Kutztown University’s renowned College of Business in one location. All the programs in the College of Business have earned specialized accreditations, including the Commission on Sport Management Accreditation (COSMA) for the Bachelor of Science in Sport Management and the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) for the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and the Master of Business Administration.

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The College of Business offers a diverse array of undergraduate programs, including Accounting, Finance, Entrepreneurship, General Business, Human Resource Management, Personal Financial Planning, Management, Marketing and Supply Chain Management. Several minor programs, such as Business, Business Analytics, Economics and Supply Chain Management and Logistics, provide students with additional opportunities for specialization.

These accreditations mark the College of Business programs as programs of distinction. In addition, the college’s award-winning and accredited Small Business Development Center, along with the Entrepreneurial Leadership Center, establish Kutztown University as a key member of the Southeastern Pennsylvania business community.

The grand reopening of the de Francesco Building signifies not only a commitment to honoring the past, but also underscores Kutztown University’s dedication to providing a dynamic, inclusive and sustainable learning environment for the future.

For more information about the de Francesco Building, Kutztown University’s College of Business, and the university’s rich history and commitment to excellence in education, visit kutztown.edu.

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Berks Weekly
Berks Weekly
Berks Weekly is an independent and locally owned digital newspaper covering the City of Reading and Berks County. Subscribe today: berksweekly.com/subscribe
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