University of Dayton students start classes at The Hub in downtown Arcade

Students, business owners, community members to mingle in downtown building

Hundreds of University of Dayton students will stream through The Arcade’s South Main Street entrance this semester for their classes downtown.

University of Dayton is partnering with The Entrepreneurs’ Center on The Hub Powered by PNC. According to the university, it is among the largest university-anchored innovation hubs in the country at 95,000 square feet. The students’ first day of classes started Monday.

Credit: Jim Noelker

Credit: Jim Noelker

Inside, there are shared and private office spaces, meeting rooms, conference areas, areas for pop-up retail, learning labs and classrooms. There are also studios for painting, printmaking, photo and graphic design and more.

About 250 students from several different majors, including business, graphic design, and photography, will be taking in-person classes at The Hub this fall.

The Hub is the Arcade’s anchor tenant, with its own South Main Street entrance.

Vincent Lewis, director of the L. William Crotty Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership and president of The Hub, said UD planned for the center to be more immersive than other innovation hubs anchored by universities. He said at many of the other centers they visited, the university wasn’t immersing the student in the experience.

But UD plans to get students directly involved with the community.

“Let’s say you’re taking an entrepreneurial finance class, and you walk out of that finance class and you’re sitting next to a hub number like Canal Holdings,” Lewis said. “That’s a real rich opportunity for learning and engagement.”

Lewis said students would be exposed to more learning opportunities and possible internships just by being at the Arcade.

“It’s really about that connection to community that really helps the student to really build their skill set,” Lewis said.

UD student Yamilet Perez Aragon, a junior, said she looked forward to meeting more people from Dayton. Part of her class this year is working with Gem City Market on access to food.

UD can be a bubble, she said, so having a space where students can meet people from the community is key.

“If representatives and people from other companies and organizations are in the space, I feel like having them physically near you is going to be more likely to form those relationships and connections,” she said.

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