Mulva Hall Project Underway

Demolition of Dobie Garage highlights construction preparation for $425 million new Texas McCombs undergraduate building

Story by Judie Kinonen

The University of Texas at Austin began demolition of Dobie Garage at Whitis Avenue and 20th Street this week in preparation for its future 17-story undergraduate business school building, Mulva Hall. The building is scheduled to open for Fall 2028.

Mulva Hall is on track to make UT history as a donor-led UT building project with the largest total philanthropic sum ever raised. One of the tallest academic buildings on campus, it will offer sweeping views of the Capitol, the UT Tower, and the University’s original 40 acres.

Mulva Hall Project Underway Hero Image
A rendering of Miriam and James J. Mulva Hall by architectural firm Perkins&Will highlights the new business education building’s proximity to Austin’s business sector.

The $425 million project will dramatically enhance the McCombs School of Business by creating a “business neighborhood,” relocating the school’s undergraduate classrooms and faculty offices — currently housed at 21st Street and Speedway — to a state-of-the-art facility adjacent to the school’s graduate and executive education buildings at Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Guadalupe Street.

The project is designed to align the business school’s facilities with its position as one of the top business schools in the country. McCombs has the №5-ranked undergraduate business program in the United States — among both public and private schools. It has been ranked №1 in the U.S. for accounting education across all degree programs for the past 18 years. About 25% of the UT student body — including more than 6,000 students working toward a business minor — will take classes in Mulva Hall.

Designed by architectural firm Perkins&Will, the new 373,000-square-foot undergraduate facility will feature flexible, multipurpose event spaces and 29 classrooms, including a collaborative learning auditorium with room for 200 people, and three specialty educational labs with enhanced technology for experiential learning. A central office tower will house the dean’s suite, academic departments, research centers, and faculty offices. The building will open to spacious plazas and shared open space with McCombs’ Robert B. Rowling Hall and the AT&T Hotel and Conference Center.

“In this strategic location, Mulva Hall will both amplify McCombs’ robust spirit of community and invite collaboration with Austin’s booming business ecosystem,” said McCombs Dean Lillian Mills. “By creating this ‘business neighborhood’ at UT, we’re deepening our connections with each other, opening our offerings to the greater Austin business community, and exponentially increasing our ability to create and share the knowledge that will change the world.”

The project is to be funded through a combination of $50 million from McCombs reserves, $225 million financed by the University, and $150 million from McCombs donors. The donor contribution is 35% of the project total.

Miriam and Jim Mulva, BBA ’68, MBA ’69, the new building’s namesakes, led the donor effort with a $40 million gift in 2014, just two years after Jim Mulva retired as CEO of ConocoPhillips. Widely known for their philanthropy to initiatives from medical research to affordable housing, the Mulvas split their time between Austin and their home state of Wisconsin.

“This munificent gift set off a transformative chain reaction among McCombs’ friends,” Mills said. “Through their generosity, the Mulvas shifted the school’s aspirations for generations to come.” A group of 51 donors — dubbed “Early Investors” by project advocates — each pledged more than $1 million during the project’s planning stages.

“The theme of those early conversations with donors was an ‘investment’ befitting one of the top five undergraduate business programs in the world,” said UT President Jay Hartzell, who was the McCombs School’s dean at the time of those discussions and approved the building of Mulva Hall after he became UT president in 2020. “These are consummate business leaders, and they immediately understood this project as an investment not only in the University, but in the people who will lead in business and society for decades to come. Physical facilities matter, as they determine our ability to attract and inspire faculty and students, and how our community comes together for teaching and research.”

For renderings of Mulva Hall, please contact Judie Kinonen,