Donor gives $3.5 million to Mulvane Project

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Professor Biology Darcy Russell, WOWzer, University President Pat Long, Chair of the Baker University Board of Trustees Hoot Gibson, BOT member Rich Howell and Baker University Student Senate President Caleb Watts turn over dirt outside Mulvane Hall as part of the groundbreaking ceremony.

Professor Biology Darcy Russell, WOWzer, University President Pat Long, Chair of the Baker University Board of Trustees Hoot Gibson, BOT member Rich Howell and Baker University Student Senate President Caleb Watts turn over dirt outside Mulvane Hall as part of the groundbreaking ceremony. Photo by Rachel Hawkins.

Video

Mulvane groundbreaking

KNBU-TV's Patrick Mirch covers the recent groundbreaking ceremony for the Mulvane Project.

KNBU-TV's Patrick Mirch covers the recent groundbreaking ceremony for the Mulvane Project.

Emeritus Professor of Biology Roger Boyd and his wife, Jan, were a little emotional Friday.

On Friday, Boyd and the rest of his family received news from University President Pat Long that an anonymous donor has given $3.5 million to the Mulvane Project.

“I knew something was up, but I didn’t know what,” Boyd said. “ … I think (my family) is totally amazed. This is a fantastic honor.”

The donor asked that the building be called the Ivan L. Boyd Center for Collaborative Science Education in honor of Ivan Boyd, former Baker University Professor of Biology. This is the largest donation ever given to Baker University.

“It’s just a great day for Baker and for our students, and what I think it will mean for our future,” Long said. “We are so grateful to everyone who is here, for all the donors that have supported us, for our faculty who have worked so hard and collaborated with us and found just the right project for our students. They’ve made such a difference. It is a fabulous project for us and we’re so excited.”

Long, members of the Baker University Board of Trustees, students, faculty, staff and community members gathered on the south side of Mulvane Hall under a large white tent for the groundbreaking event.

“This event has been a long time coming,” Long said. “If we think of 10 years in the making, here we are today. I think that this whole project is really based on what we believe here as collaboration. Every day in these halls, in the building like the one behind me, I see professors and students working together to find solutions for our future.”

Mulvane Hall was built in 1926 and will soon undergo a 9,000 square-foot addition as well as a full renovation on the inside of the building. The construction is to be completed by Aug. 1, 2012.

“More than a decade ago, it became evident that the science programs had outgrown the facility and that the facility was in serious need of a renovation,” Hoot Gibson, Chair of the Baker University Board of Trustees, said. “Discussion and planning between the board of trustees, the administration and the faculty for a new facility, and fundraising for the facility, began.”

Professor of Biology Darcy Russell was a student at Baker and graduated in 1980. For Russell, this project has come full circle since she sat on both sides of the desk, both learning as a student and teaching as a professor in the building.

“I am so excited about teaching in the new building; I can hardly form words to express it,” Russell said. “It’s a long-time dream coming to reality and it’s just so exciting.”

Russell was a student of Ivan Boyd’s when he taught at Baker University and Roger Boyd was her academic adviser during her freshman year on campus.

“They’ve given over and beyond to this university, so it’s the perfect name for the collaborative center to name it after the Boyd family. It’s just amazing,” she said.

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