Union College in Schenectady, New York, has announced an $11 million gift from the Feigenbaum Foundation in support of a major renovation of its Visual Arts building, an annual scholarship program, a new professorship, and an annual forum dedicated to innovation and creativity.
The college will use the gift to renovate the Visual Arts building, completing a vibrant arts corridor designed to inspire collaboration and interdisciplinary energy. Highlights of the renovation include a three-story addition featuring a sculpture and design studio for metalworking alongside an outdoor sculpture space; an expansion of a public gallery; improvements to the photography area; the addition of a drawing/2-D design studio, a 3-D design studio, a media lab, and a suite of working artists' studios for visual arts majors. The project, which also will include improvements to the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems, is scheduled to be completed in time for the building to reopen for the fall 2016 term. In recognition of the gift, the building will be renamed the Feigenbaum Center for Visual Arts.
The gift also will endow a Feigenbaum Professor of Behavioral Economics position; provide a four-year, need-based scholarship to a Berkshire County student annually; and establish the Feigenbaum Forum on Innovation and Creativity, an annual forum that will bring nationally and internationally recognized speakers who have revolutionized their fields of endeavor to the college.
The Feigenbaum Foundation was created by brothers and alums Armand V. Feigenbaum ('42) and Donald S. Feigenbaum ('46), longtime benefactors of the college and co-founders of the systems engineering firm General Systems Co. in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Armand Feigenbaum passed away last November, while Donald predeceased him in March 2013.
"Armand and Donald Feigenbaum were very appreciative of the difference a Union College education made in their lives," said Union College president Stephen C. Ainlay. "We are grateful to the trustees of the Feigenbaum Foundation for supporting critical initiatives that ensure that Armand and Donald's legacy will be remembered and celebrated at the college they so loved. While an overworked term, this gift is truly 'transformative' in so many ways."