University of Richmond

Four Trustees Make $8 Million Challenge Gift to University of Richmond Science Center

October 17, 2003

Four University of Richmond trustees have created an $8 million challenge gift toward the $35 million renovation and expansion of Gottwald Science Center. The university broke ground on the expansion of the science facility last May, with the intention of raising funds to pay for its construction costs.

Trustees Robert S. Jepson Jr., Allison Weinstein and two anonymous trustees pooled their contributions and challenged all Richmond alumni and friends to match or exceed the $8 million gift.

"These trustees understand the importance of the University of Richmond maintaining its place among the best universities in the country and that having a top-notch science facility is vital to this effort," said George Wellde Jr., chair of the advancement committee of the board of trustees. "I hope that all alumni and friends of the university will embrace this challenge."

University President William E. Cooper noted that Richmond has not made a significant investment in its science facilities in 25 years, and a recently completed strategic planning process identified the school's science facilities as being in serious need of modernization.

"Even though our science graduates fare extremely well in industry, medicine and graduate schools, we have been operating on borrowed time," Cooper said. "The expansion and renovation of the Gottwald Science Center cannot wait."

"We have great students and a great faculty, but they need a great facility if the University of Richmond wants to be at the forefront of undergraduate science education," he said.

The renovation and expansion of the Gottwald Science Center is part of the university's 10-year strategic plan.