College of Science Receives $1 million for New Science Center

Published: March 21, 2011 | Category: Academics

Southern Utah University is pleased to announce a gift of $1 million from The ALSAM Foundation toward the final phase of construction for its much-anticipated new science building, set to open for classes in the fall of 2011.

“We could not be more appreciative to The ALSAM Foundation and the Skaggs Family for their generosity and commitment,” said SUU President Michael T. Benson. “This extraordinary gift is crucial to completing the new science facility. The gift also establishes an endowment that will provide much needed support for student scholarships and research. What a red-letter day for the University and for our community.”

Half of the foundation’s gift is designated for building construction and half has been set aside for scholarship and research endowments specifically for SUU’s College of Science students.

SUU President Michael Benson described The ALSAM Foundation’s gift as “incredibly vital.”

Indeed, the new science facility will provide the College of Science with its greatest need: state-of-the-art laboratory space crucial to SUU’s highly prized undergraduate research and experiential learning model.

Said dean of the College of Science, Robert Eves, “We are elated that The ALSAM Foundation, which has been such a great friend to the University in the past, has so generously donated to SUU in the name of science. This building, which represents many new laboratories and the associated equipment, is critical as we continue to provide the best undergraduate science education in the intermountain region.”

According to Eves, the new building marks “a huge step forward” in his college’s mission to prepare students for graduate and professional schools and for careers in the sciences.

The new science building will be located just east of — and connected to — SUU’s current science building. The 42,385-square-foot addition fills the building footprint of the 9,491-square-foot Life Science Building, which was outdated, dilapidated and torn down to make way for the much-needed expansion.

In the past two decades, Southern Utah University has nearly doubled in size to a current enrollment of more than 8,000 students. The College of Science reflects such growth and is home to more than 20 percent of SUU’s students

SUU’s science graduates are among the nation’s best-prepared for the rigors of graduate work and highly competitive professional fields, with placement rates to post-graduate programs running far above the norm. In fact, SUU boasts the highest rates among all of Utah’s colleges and universities in a number of science fields.

The ALSAM Foundation was founded by and is named in honor of L.S. "Sam" and Aline W. Skaggs. The Foundation is committed to improving the lives of people around the world through its broad support of deserving causes and organizations. The Foundation and Mr. and Mrs. Skaggs have given hundreds of millions of dollars to education and health research through scholarships, the establishment or funding of a wide number of university and research centers, and probably the nation's largest single parochial elementary and secondary complex, located in Salt Lake City.

Often credited as the father of the modern super drug-store chain, Mr. Skaggs took over his family's grocery store business after his father's death in 1950. Mr. Skaggs grew the business from a regional industry leader into American Stores, which at one time was the third largest food and drug chain in the country.

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