$4 Million Gift to Further Catalyze UAlbany’s New Engineering Program
A $4 million gift to support College of Engineering and Applied Sciences students, faculty, academic programs and core priorities comes as UAlbany renews its push to secure state capital funding to renovate the Schuyler Building on the Downtown Campus into a state-of-the-art, permanent home for the College.
Under the leadership of Dean Kim Boyer, CEAS is the first and only comprehensive public engineering program in the Capital Region. This gift is the first seven-figure donation to the College, which has exceeded its enrollment and program expectations in its first year alone.
The donation comes as UAlbany has renewed its push to secure $60 million in capital funding to renovate the Schuyler Building on the Downtown Campus into a state-of-the-art, permanent home for CEAS. Locating the College in the middle of Albany underscores the deepening partnership between the Capital Region’s comprehensive public research university, the city of Albany, and the broader region. In order to accomplish this, UAlbany is asking the state Legislature to include $20 million for the Schuyler Building renovation in the state budget this month.
“The College of Engineering and Applied Sciences within the Schuyler Building on the downtown campus will be transformational for UAlbany,” said UAlbany Interim President James R. Stellar. “This gift constitutes a wonderful statement of confidence in CEAS’s future. I am grateful that our donor recognizes the College’s potential to attract the best and brightest students, prepare them for high-demand careers in engineering, produce groundbreaking research, and spur economic development in the Capital Region and across New York state.”
The donor was motivated by a strong belief in the impact of a world-class engineering program on UAlbany and the local community. Within five years, CEAS will have 65 faculty members, eight degree programs across six departments, and expects to enroll at least 1,600 students.
CEAS’s inaugural academic program, computer engineering, is enrolling students in numbers that significantly exceed projections. Soon to follow are undergraduate programs in electrical engineering, environmental engineering, and bioengineering, as well as graduate programs in electrical and computer engineering. The College’s 14 new faculty members have been recruited from the country’s strongest engineering programs, including Dartmouth, Illinois, Michigan and Purdue.
“We are very pleased by our progress,” said Boyer, “and we are deeply appreciative of the faith that a gift of this magnitude demonstrates in our continued growth. The gift represents a long-term investment in CEAS’ future, allowing us to seize exciting opportunities and address pressing needs twenty and thirty years from now. With this kind of support, we will become an engineering school of choice not only for the region but also for students from across the United States and around the world.”
The 105-year-old former Albany High School is a midtown landmark and will allow the University and city to leverage CEAS as an engine of economic and community development, especially in adjacent neighborhoods. The project, which has broad community support, also stands at a gateway to a busy commercial corridor on Central Avenue where the Central BID is developing the STEAM Garden technology and arts incubator.
George R. Hearst III, President of the University at Albany Foundation, applauded the donor’s generosity. “Such a significant gift to a new academic program is the result of thoughtful philanthropy,” he said. “The donor clearly understands that a public research university of UAlbany’s excellence deserves an outstanding engineering program, and that an early investment can serve as a catalyst for support from others.”