(THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – Sept. 29, 2017) California Lutheran University has raised $20.8 million toward the $30 million it needs to build a new state-of-the-art science building and is now launching the public phase of the campaign to bring in the final dollars.
The new building is needed to accommodate the growing number of science majors and the university’s increased emphasis on student research.
The number of science majors at Cal Lutheran has more than doubled since 2005. About 30 percent of the student body is now majoring in science, technology or math. The new building will help Cal Lutheran do its part to fulfill a 2012 challenge to universities from the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, which calls for 1 million more science, technology, engineering and mathematics graduates than projected over the next decade.
Cal Lutheran has increased research opportunities for students in recent years, putting a squeeze on lab space. The National Science Foundation just awarded two chemistry professors a $195,000 grant to conduct research with undergraduate students, and last year the university received a $4.63 million Hispanic-Serving Institution grant to support students studying STEM. Each summer, Cal Lutheran awards fellowships to dozens of undergraduates to conduct research full time with guidance from faculty members.
The new three-story, 47,000-square-foot facility, which will connect to the 29-year-old Ahmanson Science Building through a bridge walkway, will more than double the amount of space dedicated to science programs. It will house biology, chemistry and part of the exercise science program.
The facility will feature 12 labs for teaching and eight designated for faculty and student research. Included among them will be labs used for biomechanics, organic synthesis, physiology and neuroscience, marine biology, cell and developmental genetics, exercise physiology ergometry, and nuclear magnetic resonance. The building will have several collaborative spaces and 24 faculty offices.
This is Cal Lutheran’s largest fundraising campaign to date for a single building. So far, the largest donations have come from the Gilbert and Swenson families, who have a long history of supporting the university. The Fletcher Jones Foundation, Lakeside Foundation and more than 75 individual regents, alumni, parents of alumni, faculty, staff members and other friends of the university have donated so far.
There are several naming opportunities still available, and all gifts of $500 or more will be recognized on a donor wall in the new building. For more information on the campaign, email firstname.lastname@example.org, call 805-493-3160 or visit science.callutheran.edu.