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Franklin College announced it has exceeded the $10 million fundraising goal for its Campaign for the Sciences. The campaign helped fund the construction and renovation of the new 51,000 square-foot Franklin College Science Center on campus.

“We are extremely grateful to the many donors, including trustees, alumni, friends and organizations, who have been instrumental in helping us reach our goal,” said Thomas J. Minar, Ph.D., Franklin College president. “One of the most impactful was Dr. Margot Lacy Eccles. Her generous $2.5 million financial promise and matching challenge made prior to her death in 2012 was a substantial impetus to getting the campaign off the ground. The ripple effect that followed was game-changing, and we are so pleased the Science Center’s Lacy Labs will honor her memory and contributions.”

Minar said another generous and impactful gift came from the Elba L. and Gene Portteus Branigin Foundation. Last January, the Branigin Foundation challenged the college to raise the remaining funds needed to reach its fundraising goal by May 1. If accomplished, it would provide the final $225,000 to bring the campaign across the finish line.

“We are thankful for the Branigin Foundation’s substantial gift and for challenging us to be diligent in reaching our campaign goal,” said Minar. “As impactful as Dr. Eccles’ gift was in getting the campaign started, so was the Branigin Foundation’s challenge and gift toward eclipsing our campaign goal.”

“It’s a tremendous honor to be at Franklin College at this historic moment,” said Dana Cummings, vice president for development and alumni engagement. “I’m proud to be a Grizzly every day, but the success of a $10 million campaign is a truly extraordinary occasion. The entire Franklin College community came together in support of our beautiful new Science Center and the results are remarkable. My heartfelt thanks go to each and every person who made the decision to support Franklin College students and the future of education with their hard-earned dollars. We are ever grateful.”

The project began in February 2012 when the college’s board of trustees announced moving forward with preparation for a campaign to enhance science programs and facilities. In October 2016, the board approved moving forward on the construction and renovation project, breaking ground in May 2017. Phase one was the construction of a 21,000 square-foot addition to the existing science building, Barnes Hall, and phase two was the renovation of Barnes Hall, built in 1927 and renovated in 1987. The newly constructed portion of the facility opened for use in May 2018, and the entire facility was opened for use in January 2019.

The construction and renovation of the science center was designed by BSA LifeStructures, which included the design of a contemporary lab building and the restoration of the college’s historic Barnes Hall. They recently earned the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) International Design Excellence Award (IDEA) in the Indiana Chapter in the category of a Higher Education Remodel for their work on the facility. The Hagerman Group was the construction manager for the project.

The science center has 12 teaching labs and three student research labs, nearly doubling the lab space previously available. Features include flexible classroom and lab spaces, dedicated space for student research projects, collaborative learning spaces, improved technology and numerous sustainability features. The building also has some unique natural features, including four large table tops harvested from a walnut tree that sat in the building expansion footprint, a rain garden and a multi-story wood and moss wall feature. The facility also has an outdoor classroom and lighted patio.

The college will host a dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Franklin College Science Center at 5:30 p.m., on Thursday, May 16, 2019. The public is invited and tours will be available following the ceremony.

For more information, contact the Office of Communications at (317) 738-8185.

Franklin College is a liberal arts and sciences college in the Indianapolis metropolitan area, about 20 miles from downtown Indianapolis. Our small class size allows students to thrive through personal interactions and individual mentorship. In addition, our liberal arts and sciences curriculum offers transformative opportunities that translate into empowered perspectives and real-world jobs. Our professors, faculty-advocates, challenge students to stretch beyond easy answers and become leaders in their fields. At the end of the day, we are self-motivated lifelong learners who relentlessly pursue the best in ourselves and in our community. For more information, visit www.FranklinCollege.edu. Find Franklin College on Facebook and follow @FranklinCollege on Twitter.

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