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The Journal Gazette

  • Courtesy This rendering shows what Fawick Hall at Trine University will look like after an $8.5 million expansion, which recently got a boost from a $1.5 million gift.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019 1:00 am

Trine project gets $1.5 million gift

University planning $8.5 million work on engineering building

ASHLEY SLOBODA | The Journal Gazette

Trine University's expansion of an engineering building got a $1.5 million boost from The James Foundation Inc., the college in Angola announced Monday.

“Engineering has been central to Trine University since 1902, and we are excited to provide expanded resources for Trine engineers while at the same time training students to help meet the critical technology infrastructure and cybersecurity needs of our region and nation,” alumnus Rick L. James said in a statement.

James and his wife, Vicki, established The James Foundation of Auburn, which seeks to improve the quality of life in Indiana by, in part, providing new educational opportunities, according to a news release.

Rick James is chair of Trine's Board of Trustees.

The gift is part of the $125 million Invest in Excellence campaign, which has raised more than $106 million, the release said. The campaign's main areas of focus are capital projects, endowment and support to the Trine Fund for operations and annual scholarships.

The foundation's pledge supports an $8.5 million addition to Fawick Hall that will provide more space and resources for Trine's biomedical, chemical, civil, mechanical and electrical engineering programs, as well as design engineering technology, the release said.

The new School of Computing, which includes programs in software and computing engineering, also will be housed in the expansion, the release said.

Design plans include an airy, glass-walled exterior; movable walls in some classrooms to allow for greater flexibility; an active learning lab with a maker space to foster creativity; expanded faculty office space; and spaces for collaboration and conversation, the release said.

Trine is honored and blessed by The James Foundation's generosity, university President Earl D. Brooks II said in a statement.

“Such support is essential as we continue to enhance our educational offerings and impact the quality of life and quality of place throughout northeast Indiana by empowering students to have successful, meaningful careers,” Brooks said.