Campus Community / Science, Technology and Health

Supporting STEM at SU

Written by Dean Forbes

October 26, 2018

Dean Michael Quinn with students at a Science Research Open House

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Murdock Trust announces $1.75 million gift toward the construction of the Center for Science and Innovation.

The M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust has given Seattle University $1.75 million toward completion of the university’s new Center for Science and Innovation. When it opens in two phases, in 2021 and 2023, the three-building center will house all of Seattle U’s College of Science and Engineering academic programs and create capacity to accommodate existing and future growth. Enrollment in the College of Science and Engineering has increased steadily in the past decade, particularly in the area of computer science, where the total number of students has quadrupled.

“An inventor, scientist and entrepreneur, M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust founder Jack Murdock believed strongly in the power of science to create real, positive change through innovation,” says Steve Moore, the Murdock Trust’s executive director. “Today, we find that investing in higher education science and innovation programs are some of the most strategic capacity building grants we can make as they help nurture and support a diverse array of curriculum areas. We believe the new Center for Science and Innovation at Seattle University will provide a venue for the next generation of scientific researchers to flourish and thrive in their work.” 

The Murdock Trust regularly invests in higher education across the Pacific Northwest. It said that this is one of the largest grants it has made to an educational institution. The Murdock Trust has been a consistent supporter of the university over the years, with 46 grants totaling $8 million.

Artists rendering of a STEM Lab in the new Center for Science and Innovation

“Seattle University is grateful for the ongoing support the Murdock Trust has given to the university. The Center for Science and Innovation represents the future of STEM education at Seattle U and this generous gift will help realize that future,” says President Stephen V. Sundborg, SJ. “Our talented faculty is at the forefront of re-imagining STEM education and these state-of-the-art facilities will help us shape the next generation of leaders to fill the increasing number of STEM jobs in the Puget Sound and beyond.”

About the Center for Science and Innovation

Seattle University’s Center for Science and Innovation, comprised of one new building and the renovation of two existing ones, is slated to open in 2021 and 2023, respectively, at a total cost of about $124.5 million. A new five-story, 109,000-square foot building will house Seattle U’s biology, chemistry and computer science programs and feature new research and teaching labs, a Computer Science Project Center and maker space. The existing Bannan Engineering and Science buildings—six stories totaling about 162,000 square feet—will be renovated and house engineering, math and physics. The university is raising $100 million in private donations to pay for most of the project.

About M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust

M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust, created by the will of the late Melvin J. (Jack) Murdock, provides grants to organizations in five states of the Pacific Northwest – Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington – that seek to strengthen the region’s educational and cultural base in creative and sustainable ways. Since its inception in 1975, the Trust has awarded more than 6,500 grants totaling more than $950 million. For more information, find the Murdock Trust on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and on our website.

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