MU School of Social Work receives donated office furniture

Tuesday, December 11, 2012 | 7:47 p.m. CST; updated 10:57 p.m. CST, Tuesday, December 11, 2012

COLUMBIA — MU's School of Social Work got an update when it received a donation of $5,000 worth of furniture.

On Nov. 29, Northwestern Mutual Financial moved its offices from Cherry Hill Drive to Buttonwood Drive. The company decided to refurnish the new offices and donate furniture from the former location to the school.

The company wanted to do something special to help the community and thought the School of Social Work would be a great fit, said Bryan Hickey, managing director of Northwestern Mutual Columbia.

The school received desks, credenzas, bookshelves, cubicles, chairs and artwork from Northwestern Mutual, said Patricia Fisher, the School of Social Work's executive staff assistant.

"The donation came out of the blue," Fisher said. "There was a general consensus that it would be a nice upgrade to a lot of the faculty who had older furniture in their offices."

The company wanted to let the school determine what to do with the furniture. Most of the furniture was used for faculty purposes, but Fisher said some was also put in the student lounge area to make it a little more contemporary.

"It's important to realize that the faculty, who are pretty hard-working and have their minds on a lot of things, aren't necessarily making it a priority to go out and get new furniture for their offices," she said. "But (the new furniture) really perks their offices up and makes it a more enjoyable workplace."

As for the students' benefit, Fisher said people who have visited the office noticed the upgrade.

"I think it sends a message to the students that just because you have decided to choose a career to an essentially nonprofit profession, that doesn't mean you can't have access to a professional space."

Supervising editor Emilie Stigliani.

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