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ASU's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has banner year for philanthropy

September 13, 2017

At the beginning of the year, Arizona State University publicly launched Campaign ASU 2020, a comprehensive effort to raise the long-term fundraising capacity of the university. And at the close of fiscal year 2017, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences had a record year for private support in the books.

By focusing on five of the six main funding priorities — ensure student access and excellence, champion student success, elevate the academic enterprise, fuel discovery and enrich communities — the college raised more than $100 million toward its $150 million campaign goal.

“Gifts of varying sizes from donors have made a significant impact for students and faculty, raising more funds for scholarships, academic programs and research initiatives following the launch of the campaign,” said Patrick Kenney, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Ensuring student access and excellence

“Philanthropy is crucial to the success of the next generation of students,” said Logan Rhind, who graduated with the Class of 2015 and donated to the college last year. “Any size donations are used to give opportunities for others to learn about the world and find their place in it. Personally, I feel honored to give back.”

Rhind, a political science major and European history minor, received a scholarship from the Social Sciences Dean’s Investment Fund. He said without it, he wouldn’t have been able to attend ASU.

“I loved my time in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences,” said Rhind, an administrative assistant for development and marketing at Barrett, the Honors College. “The college is doing phenomenal things and I wanted to help those ventures, especially because the arts and humanities are not always receiving funding.”

Rhind said he gave to the same fund he received a scholarship from because he wanted to do his small part to ensure students with a passion for liberal arts and sciences have the ability to pursue their dreams, just like he was able to find his place in student affairs.

“Small gifts are the driving force behind engagement. It reconnects alumni and opens up more opportunities for them to return and assist current students,” he said. “Small gifts are also a sign of respect and gratitude. I gave what I could because I respect the college and university for helping me when I needed it. I plan on making continued gifts to the college as long as I’m financially able.”

Alumnus Jorge Coss Ortega is also interested in engaging recent alumni to give back to the college and university. He just graduated with the Class of 2017 and joined the Dean’s Council Emerging Leaders program, an initiative to re-engage alumni and help shape the college’s future. He donated to the Dean’s Investment Fund and hopes to create his own scholarship fund.

“Philanthropy is one of the best ways to spark change and elevate the social and economic standards of an entire society,” said Coss Oretga, who’s one of the first-ever designated O’Connor Fellows at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law and a first-year law student. “I want to create scholarships and programs that will help future leaders attain their educational goals. These opportunities helped me when I was an undergrad, and I want to make sure they’re available to all students.”

Championing student success

Similarly, engaged community members Herb and Laura Roskind are dedicated to helping students succeed with Early Start — a discipline-specific, two-week immersion program held prior to the start of the fall semester to help incoming freshmen gain the necessary tools for a successful college experience. After reading through the Campaign ASU 2020 statement, they started the first Early Start endowment.

“These young people are very bright and they just need a little extra academic push to get them started,” said Laura Roskind, a community member who has been very involved with the university. “I think it’s almost a duty of all citizens to help young people excel, especially young people who’ve never had a chance to have an advanced education.”

Elevating the academic enterprise

Donors Donald Seiwell and Brian Martin have made contributions to the Department of Physics to support teaching and learning at the university and beyond. 

Seiwell earned his bachelor’s degree in physics education and master’s degree in administration and supervision on the secondary level from ASU. He spent most of his career teaching physics and math, but he also had administration experience and served on the Advisory Panel for the State Commission for Teacher Training and Credentialing. He said his years in administration and service created a deeper understanding of how unrestricted funds can enable a department to make a greater impact.

Martin received training in high school physics teaching as part of ASU’s Physics Modeling Instruction program. He has been teaching for more than 30 years and ramped up his efforts with the program’s help. He said he hopes his gift helps the program continue because there are so few educational programs for secondary science teachers, particularly in physics, with years of empirical data proving its worth. 

“I gave back in a very small way compared to what I’ve gotten out of it,” he said.

Fueling discovery, creativity and innovation 

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences values all gifts — small gifts just as much as larger gifts. Donor Albert Thurman, an entomology expedition leader and research associate with ASU’s Hasbrouck Insect Collection, recently donated to the School of Life Sciences PitchFunder campaign to save a species of harlequin frogs that were thought to have gone extinct in Costa Rica.

The online campaign, composed of hundreds of small gifts from donors, ultimately raised more than $8,000 to help pull off the most successful field season with the harlequin frogs to date.

“The continued existence of the species is testimony to the philanthropic support we have received,” said Jan Schipper, a conservation and wildlife biologist in the School of Life Sciences. “We had the first visual evidence of tadpoles in this population ever — so they’re reproducing — and this might be the first year we haven’t had net negative population growth, which is amazing. It’s incredible to see that the combination of smaller donations was able to make such a difference.”

Thurman has also donated specimens from his personal collection to the Hasbrouck Insect Collection, which has the potential to grow into a much larger gift like the one from Lois and Charlie O’Brien — another impactful gift given to further research and discovery.

The O’Briens entrusted to ASU a $9.9 million collection of meticulously classified insect specimens to transform the university’s research in this field. They also endowed professorships in the School of Life Sciences devoted to insect systematics, the process of identifying and naming new species.

Enriching the college’s community with estate gifts

Many donors have set up estate gifts to impact units within the college, including the Department of English, the School of Life Sciences, the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning, the School of Earth and Space Exploration and the Institute of Human Origins. 

“Estate gifts are a great way to create a permanent legacy,” said Bill Kavan, senior director of development in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. “The funding from estate gifts continue to support scholarships, faculty or academic programs forever.”

The college has already received more than $1 million from an estate gift set up by Elaine and Kenneth Leventhal. Elaine Leventhal had served on the board of the Institute of Human Origins for 30 years, and the Los Angeles couple included the institute in their estate because they were passionate about the work being done.

The Roskinds have also set up an estate gift for the institute. The couple served on the institute’s board for more than 10 years and have gone on trips with researchers to Madagascar, Ethiopia and South Africa. Laura Roskind said they’ve become very intrigued with life as it has emerged and changed over the past 2 million years and the kind of research the institute is doing in this arena.

“Philanthropy is absolutely crucial,” said Laura Roskind. “Especially for a university that wants to thrive as being innovative and research-oriented. We can’t do it without the support of donors.”

Amanda Stoneman

Senior Marketing Content Specialist , EdPlus


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ASU completes $42M in facilities upgrades over summer

September 13, 2017

New projects include Tooker House, Student Pavilion, stadium improvements

A new academic year brings a host of new buildings and significant facilities upgrades to the Arizona State University community. During summer break, ASU Facilities Development and Management completed 60 projects totaling $42 million of investment across all campuses.

“Summer is our busiest time of year from a building renovation and construction perspective, and this summer was no exception,” said Bruce Nevel, Facilities Development and Management associate vice president and chief facilities officer. “I encourage the ASU community to take notice of some of our newest buildings and renovated classrooms and lab spaces.”

New Tempe campus buildings this fall are Tooker House, the Student Pavilion and Sun Devil Stadium’s Student Athlete Facility. At ASU’s West campus, a state-of-the-art educational facility was unveiled as the new home for the Herberger Young Scholars Academy. Facilities Development and Management also made improvements to classrooms, laboratories, offices and grounds across ASU’s campuses.

Tooker House

This $120 million, 450,000 gross-square-foot, state-of-the-art residence hall for the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering includes fully furnished rooms with 1,600 student beds, a 525-seat dining facility, recreation and fitness centers, student lounges and academic success space. The fully Wi-Fi-accessible facility also includes the following notable amenities:

• a new Amazon Echo Dot in each room, which represents the first voice-enabled, learning-enhanced residential community on a university campus

• Bluetooth-connected washers and dryers that notify students when cycles are complete

• collaborative maker space environments, including access to 3-D printers

• a beautiful courtyard with outdoor pavilions and covered terraces

Student Pavilion

The 74,653 gross-square-foot Student Pavilion was designed as a Net Zero Energy building, which means it uses no more energy annually than can be produced on site. The building’s sustainable elements include:

• chilled-beam and indirect evaporative cooling

• energy-efficient office, classroom and kitchen equipment

• exterior shading of windows and walls

• LED and energy-efficient lighting

• roof solar-ready for future photovoltaic installations

• Zero Waste strategies

The building hub is a new 1,200-seat event space for guest lecturers, musical shows, comedy acts and student productions. At the center of student traffic and activity near Hayden Library and the Memorial Union, the Student Pavilion houses office space for student government and organizations, university classrooms and other academic functions.

Sun Devil Stadium – Phase 2

Construction concluded this summer on the new Student Athlete Facility embedded in the stadium’s north end, club-level premium areas on the stadium’s west side and a massive video board.

• The Student Athlete Facility is equipped with offices, training facilities, locker rooms, counseling space, a players’ lounge, meeting rooms and other amenities to support Sun Devil athletes.

• The west side club level features air-conditioning, televisions, lounge areas and many other conveniences for fans, including food and beverage service.

• The new video board (seen in top photo) on the north end is 47 feet high and 113 feet wide and is among the 10 largest video boards in college football. The board will showcase replays, statistical updates, graphics and videos.

Phase 3 work on the stadium’s east side begins immediately after the 2017 football season and will lay the groundwork for a facility capable of hosting sporting, academic, and community events and programs throughout the year.

Herberger Young Scholars Academy

This 19,500 gross-square-foot building provides new, purpose-built program space for the Herberger Young Scholars Academy, designed for gifted students in grades 7–12. The ASU West campus building includes state-of-the-art classroom space and a maker space to enrich the teaching program. The building is linked to a dedicated landscaped area that provides opportunities for outdoor teaching and relaxation. The new facility was made possible through the charitable support of Gary and Jeanne Herberger.

Mall updates

Cady and Orange Mall improvements are among the first implementations of the Tempe Campus Hardscape Master Plan. These mall updates are significant to this program, as it sets the standard for future phases.

• Cady Mall now provides additional campus monuments at key points along the Tempe campus perimeter. This includes two campus identification monuments flanking Gammage Auditorium on Apache Boulevard and Mill Avenue as well as a new ASU Charter monument sign at the entry to Cady Mall near University Drive. These Cady Mall additions provide photo opportunities for students and visitors and strengthen the beauty and identity of the Tempe campus.

• A revitalization and extension of Orange Mall delivers an ecologically sustainable pedestrian walkway. The mall was designed to create a sustainable environment and green infrastructure that manages wet-weather impacts. The extension also provides an event space for the Student Pavilion and serves as an ASU community social gathering spot. Seating and a shaded palm court offer visitors an enjoyable outdoor space.

Additional capital projects

• Palm Walk rehabilitation concluded its second and final phase this summer with the replacement of 68 failing fan palms with new date palms, located between University Drive and Orange Street. The date palms will grow to a maximum height of 80 feet and deliver more shade for pedestrians and fruit for the university’s annual date harvest.

• Tempe campus Memorial Union renovations provide building enhancements and improvements for greater student accessibility and experiences. Renovations consist of approximately 13,000 gross-square-feet in lower-level improvements, which include a feature staircase installation from the first level to the lower level, meditation space, student recreation space, and collaboration and meeting areas. The project also includes restroom facilities modernization, a new elevator and floor tile throughout, as well as functional improvements to the facility.

• The Sun Devil Fitness Complex field on the Tempe campus received 151,100 gross-square-feet of new sod.

• Palo Verde East and West residence halls received updating in the elevators with new cabs, machines and controls. Roofing also was replaced around the perimeter of the mechanical penthouses.  Additional work is planned on these halls following the current academic year.

• Phase IV of Access Management continued to address conflicts among pedestrians, bicycles and cart vehicles on Tempe campus malls, and included:

- installation of bike valet shade canopies, additional bike racks, bike share racks, skateboard docks and cart parking
- new landscaping, screen fencing, benches, bike signage and site lighting

Classroom and laboratory renovations

The summer provides a brief prime opportunity to upgrade and refresh heavily-used classroom facilities, and this summer was no exception:

Tempe campus

Increased the capacity of two lecture spaces in Business Administration C Wing for W.P. Carey School of Business. Classrooms include all new finishes, updated audio/visual systems and improved accessibility features.

• A mid-size auditorium in College of Design North enjoys increased occupancy, new auditorium seats, finishes, LED lighting, an audio/visual package and improved ADA accommodations.        

• A large auditorium in the Bateman Physical Science H Wing includes all-new finishes, fixed auditorium seating, updated and upgraded LED lighting and audio/visual packages, as well as improved overall occupancy and accessibility features.

• A new traditional classroom was created in Computing Commons, including a new separate collaboration area for study.

• 2,400 gross-square-feet of classroom space in Coor Hall received improvements.

Downtown Phoenix campus

• 3,477 gross-square-feet of newly-leased space became three new classrooms and one small seminar space

• Updated furniture in an existing large, flat-floor classroom in the Arizona Center created a new active-learning classroom.

• First and second floor renovations at Grant Street Studios accommodate additional studio spaces, a print work area and photo dark room.

Polytechnic campus

• Sacaton Hall received two new classrooms, a new teacher resource room and staff restrooms.

• Two old classrooms converted into one 3,120 gross-square-foot active-learning classroom with all new finishes, furniture, an LED lighting package and an audiovisual system with distance-learning capabilities. 

West campus

• A new media-enhanced lab with multiple workstations and collaboration space was added to Sands Classroom and Lecture Hall.

• Two computer classrooms also were converted to teaching laboratory spaces in the Classroom/Lab/Computer Classroom (CLCC) Building.

These completed projects are only a part of the ASU capital projects now in some phase of planning, design or construction. These ongoing projects include Biodesign Institute Building C construction, Greek Leadership Village, renovations of Armstrong and Ross-Blakley Halls, and a new building for the ASU Polytechnic Preparatory Academy High School, among others.

Morgan R. Olsen, ASU executive vice president, treasurer and chief financial officer, noted that this large volume of work completed in such a narrow window is critical to the ongoing success of the university and its people. 

“Congratulations and a thank you are in order for the many ASU personnel in FDMFacilities Development and Management and beyond, as well as our contractor, vendor and design professional partners, who made it possible to achieve all these great outcomes that advance the university in so many important ways,” he said.

Learn more about ASU’s past, present and future construction projects and follow Facilities Development and Management on Twitter @ASUfacilities.

Top photo by Anya Magnuson/ASU Now