April 11, 2006 — The Kresge Foundation of Troy, Michigan has awarded the College of Engineering a challenge grant of $800,000 to be allocated in March 2007 if the college succeeds in raising the remaining $2.8 million of its $45 million comprehensive campaign goal. The college-focused campaign announced in 2002, includes $30 million for construction of the new engineering building as well as $15 million for scholarships, research, programs, and endowment. Sky-rocketing increases in construction costs created the $2.8 million gap, primarily for equipment, furnishings, and other IT infrastructure. In response to the challenge, the college will appeal to its alumni, corporate partners, and friends.
“We are confident that our loyal alumni, corporate partners and friends will rally to The Kresge Foundation’s challenge,” said Richard B. Brown, dean of engineering. “With heightened national concern over the shortfall of US engineering graduates, this is a momentous time in the college”s history.”
Construction of the John E. and Marva M. Warnock Engineering Building is slated for completion in October 2006. The 100, 000 square foot building has been designed to meet the technical needs of engineering students. From its four 90-seat, high-tech classrooms to its individual team project rooms, the Warnock Engineering Building will provide the physical setting for a modern engineering education. Since breaking ground in October, 2004, spiraling increases in construction costs have dramatically impacted the project’s budget. Dollars set aside for IT infrastructure, equipment and furnishings have been tapped for steel, concrete, and other basic building materials.
Donor support is being sought in these remaining critical months. Gifts now will help make the new engineering building a first-rate facility, while leveraging critical funds from The Kresge Foundation. The Foundation will also count toward the challenge donations for scholarships, research, programs, and other designated gifts.
With $3 billion in assets, The Kresge Foundation seeks to strengthen nonprofit organizations by catalyzing their growth, connecting them to their stakeholders and challenging greater support through grants. The Foundation’s core grant-making activity is its Capital Grants program which is designed to strengthen leadership and support through challenge grants for capital projects. In 2005, the Foundation awarded 212 grants totally $131,770, 027 to organizations in the United States and internationally.
The Kresge Foundation’s $800,000 challenge grant to the College of Engineering is the Foundation’s first award to the University of Utah since a $500,000 grant in 1997 for the C. Roland Christiansen Center in the David Eccles School of Business.