Manchester breaks ground on Chinworth Center, Gilbert College of Business


Construction on the new Lockie and Augustus Chinworth Center is under way following a groundbreaking ceremony May 11.

The approximately 36,000-square-foot building will house the Arthur L. Gilbert College of Business on the second floor, with a range of student services, a commuter lounge and coffee bar on the first floor. The Chinworth Center will connect to the north end of the Jo Young Switzer Center and is expected to open in early summer 2019.

Manchester alumnus Herb Chinworth, who studied at Manchester from 1938 to 1940, provided the $5.1 million leadership gift to name the building in honor of his parents.

“He would have enjoyed this day,” said Jim Chinworth, one of Herb’s sons, who attended the groundbreaking with his siblings and other family members. A longtime chemist for the Dow Chemical Co. who died in 2017, Herb was a firm believer in capitalism, Jim added. But he always had an eye toward the higher purpose.

“Making money was fine, but advancing a good idea on behalf of strengthening community was his view on the risk, the challenge and hopefully the reward of good and honest work,” he said.

Jim Chinworth added that his father’s gift was evidence of “his trust and faith in Manchester to continue to shape students as it helped shaped him, who also may have a good idea, gather others around them and serve the public good with honesty and integrity and passion.”

The new building is a testament to Herb’s life and generosity, President Dave McFadden ’82 added.

“What a wonderful legacy,” he said.

Professor Emeritus Art Gilbert ’53 attended the groundbreaking with his wife, Ellen, and other family members. “Art’s students learned excellent accounting skills,” McFadden told those gathered. “But what really set them apart was that they were Manchester accountants. They were equipped to lead. They were problem-solvers. They had a strong work ethic. And they were known for their uncompromising integrity.”

Even though Art retired in 1998 after 40 years of teaching, McFadden said, his legacy endures.

“Manchester graduates still stand out from the crowd,” he said.

One of those new graduates, accounting major Mallorie Jennings ’18, noted that her Manchester education has given her all the tools she needs to succeed.

“Without Manchester, I would not be the person I am today and I am proud to call this place home,” she said.

First-year accounting and finance major Olivia Wilson ’21 came to Manchester, her grandfather’s alma mater, to reap what Gilbert sowed. The new building will allow every program in the College of Business to grow, Olivia said.

“I am truly excited to be a part of the lasting legacy Professor Gilbert established.”