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15 Apr 2011

Suzanne and Walter Scott Foundation donates $10m to Colorado State University

Level 3 Communications Chairman Walter Scott Jr., a Colorado State University alumnus and one of the nation's most respected corporate leaders, and his wife, Suzanne have committed $10m for the construction of Engineering II, which will house interdisciplinary energy, environment and health programs. The $69m, 122,000 sq ft building is being built at the southeast corner of Laurel Street and Meridian Avenue in Fort Collins.

A groundbreaking ceremony to honour the Scotts and other donors - including students who agreed to raise their own fees for the construction – was held yesterday. Scott is a civil engineering alumnus and longtime supporter of the College of Engineering. For 29 years, the Walter Scott Jr. Scholarship Endowment at Colorado State has provided about 18 students a year with financial support.

“This incredibly generous gift from the Scotts to Colorado State University will have a lasting impact on our students in the biomedical, energy and environmental programs in engineering,” said President Tony Frank. “We are grateful for the Scotts’ passionate support of this unique learning model and their commitment to excellence in engineering education. The Scotts, other private donors, and our students recognise Colorado State University is home to one of the finest engineering programs in the country.”

Additional support for the building has been supplied by the Gates Family Foundation and Denver residents and CSU alumni Don and Susie Law, who provided $500,000 in initial funding for architectural design. With their gift, the college will open the Don and Susie Law Student Success Center in the new building to provide students a place for advising, career development and other support programs. The Gates Family Foundation was impressed with the unique interdisciplinary research model and committed $1m to the project.

Unlike most engineering colleges, which construct buildings for each discipline, Colorado State’s new building will focus on solving global challenges through interdisciplinary collaboration, said Sandra Woods, dean of the College of Engineering. University officials plan to construct the new building to LEED Gold standards.

The building will also house offices for the School of Biomedical Engineering, which encompasses faculty from four colleges across CSU’s campus. Students and faculty in biomedical engineering programs are working on cutting-edge as diagnostic tools to more rapidly detect tuberculosis, quicker wound-healing materials and joint implants that integrate more effectively into human tissues.

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