Chapman received a $45 million donation for the construction of a new engineering school, which will be part of the new Center for Science and Technology, President Daniele Struppa announced at his first State of the University Address Feb. 24.
The donation, which comes from Dale and Sarah Ann Fowler, makes the Fowlers the university’s largest donors at $100 million total, Sheryl Bourgeois, executive vice president for university advancement, wrote in an email. The couple also donated $55 million toward the Dale E. Fowler School of Law in 2013.
“Engineering is the natural evolution of our success in the sciences,” Struppa said at the address. “It provides tremendous connection with the industry around us, it allows us to attract students of very high quality, it will allow us to increase our research profile and it is fulfilling a very important workforce need for California.”
Creating an engineering school was one of Struppa’s main goals entering his presidency, as he believes that engineering graduates are more likely to get jobs quickly, he told The Panther in August.
“(Engineering) attracts a different kind of student than the ones we have now,” Struppa said in August. “We have a great emphasis right now on creative spirits, but engineering brings in a group of analytical kids which will add a nice balance.”
The number of students who apply to engineering programs in California far exceeds the number of available spots, Struppa said in his address. The new school will include studies in computer, software and electrical engineering.
The Center for Science and Technology, which is already under construction and is set to open for the fall of 2018, will consist of two halls – one for science and one for technology – which will be connected by a central arch, Bourgeois wrote. The plan is for the engineering school to be part of the technology hall, which Bourgeois said will be the smaller portion of the center.
Struppa said at the address that the university will work on the plan for the engineering school over the next few months and then bring approval to the Board of Trustees in the fall.
The new engineering school will be named after the Fowlers, Struppa said in his address.