Southern Arkansas University announces the grand opening of its entrepreneurial innovation hub, SAU Beyond the Campus.

SAU Beyond the Campus is a retail store, located at 113 North Jefferson, West Court Square in downtown Magnolia, is the result of a generous gift by Mrs. Bobbie Ruth Webb last July. The grand opening celebration will be held at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, August 21.

The building is 3,400 square feet and has been separated into two areas. The front portion will be a retail space with the back portion dedicated to community education. The community education division is set to open later this fall.

According to the Press Release, SAU Beyond the Campus is a student-managed career-training center dedicated to providing graduate students enrolled at the University the opportunity to sharpen career-readiness skills while earning a Master of Business Administration degree.

The inaugural management team consists of three MBA students at SAU: Jeremy Hunter, of Magnolia, Arkansas; Macy Moseley, of Fordyce, Arkansas; and Ja’Corey Porchia, of Stephens, Arkansas. Each of these students earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from SAU in the fields of Supply-Chain Management, Marketing, and Accounting, respectively. By managing the retail store as a team, these students will develop necessary collaborative skills that will provide an edge in the marketplace upon completing their MBAs.

Dr. Trey Berry, president of SAU, said of the enterprise, “SAU is extremely grateful to Mrs. Webb for the gift of the building on the Magnolia Square. Student success at SAU is our Number One priority. SAU is proud to be part of Magnolia, and we are excited to have an even greater presence downtown. I can think of no better way to provide our students with hands-on experience and employment opportunities while earning their degrees.”

According to Berry, the management team will oversee all aspects of an entrepreneurial retail business, from ordering and pricing merchandise to managing employees. The store will sell SAU merchandise, Magnolia merchandise, and reading books as part of its partnership with Barnes and Noble, the campus bookstore provider.

The grand opening is scheduled in conjunction with Blue and Gold Day. The University invites the community to be a part of the grand opening at 4 p.m. and stay for the festivities on the square from 5-7 p.m., which will include numerous free activities provided by SAU as well as pep rallies by both SAU and Magnolia High School cheerleaders and bands.