Southern Utah University receives $4M donation, largest in school's 115-year history

Published: Monday, Jan. 23 2012 12:25 p.m. MST

CEDAR CITY — Southern Utah University has received a donation of $4 million designated for the College of Science and Engineering. The donation is the largest single gift in the school's 115-year history.

The $4 million from Walter and Alice Gibson will help fund an endowment for student and faculty research initiatives and scholarships.

"This is truly a game-changing gift for one of our largest and most dynamic colleges," SUU president Michael Benson said in a prepared statement. "We are extremely grateful to the Gibson family for their commitment to and support of the advancement of science at SUU. Their generosity will benefit the educational pursuits for countless students for generations. This is truly amazing."  

In recognition of the donation, the college will be naming the College of Science and Engineering in honor of the late Walter Maxwell Gibson who graduated from Branch Agricultural College, now SUU, in 1952 with an associate degree in chemistry.

"My father loved his time at the college," his son David Gibson said. "He felt it helped him develop a love of science and discovery that continued the rest of his life and prepared him for a meaningful and successful career in academia and business. He was very excited to give back to SUU in a meaningful way."

Walter Gibson's wife, Alice, said Walter Gibson wanted to improve education.

"We are so pleased to support Walter's beloved college and hope this gift will help students best prepare for successful careers in science and engineering — just as BAC did for Walter so many years ago," she said.

The Walter Maxwell Gibson College of Science and Engineering will be officially unveiled May 2012, shortly before SUU's 113th annual commencement.

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