Chapman University in Orange, California, has announced a $55 million gift from trustee and alumnus Dale E. Fowler ('58) and his wife, Sarah Ann, to establish a school of engineering as part of a $130 million Center for Science and Technology.
The gift could support an endowment for the new school, which has yet to be approved; should it be approved, the school is expected to open in 2019 or 2020, Chapman University president Daniele Struppa told the Orange County Register. One of the first things Struppa decided after he was appointed president of the university in 2016 was to move forward on a plan to create an engineering school. "There is a tremendous demand in California and in the country for people with highly technical degrees," he told the Register. "This is really going to open up a brand new group of students that will be coming to Chapman."
With the gift, the Fowlers have now committed more than $100 million to the university, including a $55 million naming gift in support of its law school in 2013. Other contributions from the couple include $1 million for the Center for Science and Technology and gifts in support of the Musco Center for the Arts, Chapman Presidential Scholarships, the Economic Science Institute, and the Crean College of Health and Behavioral Sciences.
"I'm so proud of my alma mater," said Fowler, who graduated with an economics degree and made his fortune as a real estate developer. "I really feel like Chapman is part of our family and enjoy being involved in the university's educational areas from science to law to the arts. We feel as though we are making a positive impact on the future generations of students who will benefit from the university."