SOUTHFIELD, Mich. – Prominent philanthropist A. Alfred Taubman is committing $11 million to Lawrence Technological University for the construction of a new building that will be the centerpiece of the A. Alfred Taubman Engineering, Architecture and Life Sciences Complex.
Taubman, who studied architecture at Lawrence Tech in the 1940s, joined Lawrence Tech President Lewis Walker in announcing the plans for the new building on Wednesday in the University’s A. Alfred Taubman Student Services Center.
Taubman’s gift to support the construction of the new building comes in two parts:
Construction is expected to begin in about 24 months and cost $55 million for a structure of 100,000 to 125,000 square feet.
“With Mr. Taubman’s generous support, we will be able to move forward with expanding and enhancing Lawrence Tech’s academic programs in engineering, architecture and life sciences,” Walker said. “This new building will greatly improve our facilities and open up new opportunities for faculty and students.”
Commenting on his support, Taubman said, “Lawrence Tech made a big difference in my life, as it has for generations of young people working to build successful careers and fulfilling lives. I am immensely proud of my Lawrence Tech affiliation, and am delighted to provide support for the exciting new Engineering, Architecture and Life Sciences Complex. I join Dr. Walker in encouraging all friends of Lawrence Tech to add their contributions to make sure this amazing new facility becomes a reality.”
The combined gift is one of the largest to date for Lawrence Tech’s “Proud Heritage, Bold Future” capital campaign, which has raised $65 million of the overall goal of $75 million to $100 million by 2014.
The new combined gift puts Taubman among the private university’s largest contributors. He provided the lead gift for the student services center that opened in 2006, and his total support would surpass $15 million with the successful completion of the challenge grant.
Taubman’s support for the university has taken many forms. In 2009, he donated an imposing sculpture by Beverly Pepper, “Ockham’s Wedge,” that sits at the center of the quadrangle. Last year he was named affiliate professor and taught the course, “Real Estate Practice: Land Development.”
Although no final decisions have been made, the most likely site for the new building is the open corner of the campus quadrangle between the Science Building and the Engineering Building. The new building could connect the two existing buildings.
“Such a physical connection between the College of Arts and Sciences with the College of Engineering would mirror the growing importance of interdisciplinary studies at Lawrence Tech,” Walker said. “Mr. Taubman’s commitment makes those ties even stronger.”
The new building and the existing Engineering Building will be integrated to form the new Taubman Complex. The combined structure would also provide additional space for the College of Architecture and Design and growing biomedical programs within the College of Arts and Sciences.
Lawrence Technological University, www.ltu.edu, offers more than 100 undergraduate, master’s and doctoral degree programs in the Colleges of Architecture and Design, Arts and Sciences, Engineering and Management. Founded in 1932, the 4,500-student, private university pioneered evening classes and today has a growing number of weekend and online programs. Lawrence Tech’s 102-acre campus is in Southfield, and programs are also offered in Detroit, Lansing, Petoskey, Traverse City and Toronto. Lawrence Tech also partners with universities in Mexico, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.