Inside INdiana Business

Butler receives major gift for sciences expansion

Atrium of the Hershel B. Whitney Gateway in Gallahue Hall at Butler University (image courtesy of Butler University)

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) – Butler University is the recipient of a $1.5 million gift from The Hershel B. & Ethel L. Whitney Fund of The Indianapolis Foundation. The university says the gift will help support its $100 million Sciences Expansion and Renovation project.

In recognition, Butler says it is naming the Hershel B. Whitney Gateway in Gallahue Hall in honor of the late Hershel B. Whitney. Whitney was a longtime Indianapolis resident and chemist at Eli Lilly and Co. (NYSE: LLY).

Butler says the gift pushes it past $29 million raised toward its $42 million fundraising goal.

“We are proud to contribute to the development of our community by attracting and developing outstanding talent for the science and life science sectors of Central Indiana’s economy, and we are grateful for the donors who see the long-term value of this investment not only for our students but also for our region,” said Jay Howard, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Butler University. “The renovation and expansion of our sciences complex will ensure that Butler University continues to prepare the talent Indiana needs for a thriving workforce.”

Butler says the project is the largest infrastructure investment in the university’s history.

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The expansion will add about 44,000 square feet of new space for teaching, research, collaboration, and study, as well as a 13,000-square-foot atrium. The Hershel B. Whitney Gateway will include seven research labs, five teaching labs, and research and teaching preparation areas on the second floor of Gallahue Hall.

Butler says the initiative is a step in its new strategic direction focused on expanding the university’s impact beyond the borders of its campus by serving the needs of the broader central Indiana community. The university says the sciences facilities and faculty will help play a major role in attracting and developing new talent for the region’s life sciences industry.

Butler has seen a 70% increase in enrollment in science disciplines over the past 10 years. The university says the COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the importance of a workforce skilled in the areas of research, data analysis, and scientific inquiry.

Previous lead philanthropic gifts already received for the Sciences Expansion and Renovation Project include $13 million from the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation and $5 million from Frank and Kristin Levinson, among other major contributions.

In addition to the Whitney Fund’s investment in the new sciences complex, the Fund also made a $100,000 donation to the Jordan College of the Arts’ Performance Enhancement Fund to support the JCA Signature Series, an artist residency program.