Union College in Schenectady, New York, has announced a $51 million gift from alumni Rich and Mary (Haanen) Templeton to establish the Templeton Institute for Engineering and Computer Science.
The largest gift ever to the college was announced in conjunction with the public launch of a $300 million capital campaign, which has raised $221 million in gifts and pledges to date to ensure student success, strengthen the liberal arts and engineering on campus, develop students beyond the classroom, and support the Union Fund, which provides discretionary resources that can be used to respond to needs in the Union community. In addition to establishing the institute, the gift will support the recruitment and retention of women pursuing a degree in engineering or computer science, enhancements to the curriculum, and upgrades to facilities and collaboration spaces.
"With [the institute], we enter a new stage in our evolution and development," said Nicole Theodosiou, associate professor of biology and co-director of biochemistry. "We have removed walls to create flexible, collaborative suites where research mentoring and teaching can happen in overlapping spaces and students can have areas to call home in their own discipline."
The Templetons both graduated from the college in 1980. Rich Templeton is chairman, president, and CEO of Texas Instruments. After a fourteen-year career at General Electric, Mary Templeton today devotes her time to community volunteering.
"The idea of liberal arts and engineering coming together makes sense and what's really exciting is that Union is positioned to be best at this," said Rich Templeton. "Mary and I are pleased to make a gift that touches so many things that are important to us. Now is a great time to be involved with Union and we're just pleased to be able to do our part."