Asbury University in Wilmore, Kentucky, has announced a $10 million gift from alumni Walt and Rowena Phillips Shaw in support of a new Collaborative Learning Center.
The largest single gift in the school's 130-year-history will close the campaign for and enable the school to begin construction on the $26 million facility, which will bring together Asbury's STEM programs and Howard & Beverly Dayton School of Business. When completed, the center will provide students and faculty in both programs with state-of-the-art technology, collaborative spaces, and space for conferences and special events. The Shaws have designated $500,000 of their gift for the Science & Health department in the School of Science, Health & Mathematics.
After meeting at Asbury and graduating in 1963, the Shaws went on to found Avanti Polar Lipids, an Alabama-based company specializing in lipid products, including a pharmaceutical-grade product used in COVID-19 vaccine research that was recently sold to Croda International.
"Few people ever get this opportunity," Walt Shaw said of the gift. "We're in this position because of what I encountered at Asbury."
"The Ignited Campaign and construction of the Collaborative Learning Center elevates important future-centric programs by providing twenty-first century teaching and learning spaces for our students," said Asbury University president Kevin J. Brown. "This relates not only to science and business, but also to our liberal arts curriculum and to collaborative, interdisciplinary efforts across campus."