University announces $5 million gift from Whiting-Turner


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2:46 p.m., June 8, 2010----The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company has donated $5 million in an unrestricted gift to the University of Delaware Initiative Fund. The gift will be used for the University's highest priority projects at the discretion of the administration.

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“The University of Delaware is very thankful to Whiting-Turner for its generous support through this exceptional gift,” UD President Patrick Harker said. “Whiting-Turner, led by its president and CEO, Willard Hackerman, is an outstanding corporate citizen and good friend of the University.”

Harker announced that a portion of the gift will be directed to the new interdisciplinary science and engineering building, a 199,000-square-foot facility to be constructed at Lovett Avenue and Academy Street.

The building, slated to begin construction in spring 2011, will include classrooms and teaching laboratories, core research facilities for teams of researchers, and space for the University of Delaware Energy Institute and the Delaware Environmental Institute.

Harker has said the building -- designed to be dynamic, dramatic and distinctive, while providing greatly needed classroom and laboratory space for a growing number of science and engineering students -- is the University's “most critical need.”

The building's design reflects the University's vision for its use. “A great deal of this building is about engagement -- of diverse ideas and a variety of disciplines,” said Michael Chajes, dean of the College of Engineering. “And, when you look at the floor plans and how the building is situated on the site, you can see these obvious opportunities for collaboration.”

In newly structured science classes, students will learn fundamental scientific principles in broad-based courses that encompass biology, chemistry and physics. They will then apply those principles to solve problems in such areas as renewable energy and stewardship of the natural environment.

Noting the gift and the partnership with the University, CEO Hackerman said, "The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company is honored to work with the University of Delaware."

Whiting-Turner Contracting Company was founded in 1909 as a builder of tunnels and bridges. The firm now handles construction of a wide variety of facilities, including many in higher education, where recent projects have included a research building at Stanford University, a science building at Georgetown University, the Malone Center at Yale University, and the Roselle Center for the Arts at the University of Delaware.