Kresge Foundation Awards $1M Challenge Grant

Memphis – Christian Brothers University (CBU) has a million more reasons to be excited about its fundraising campaign for the School of Sciences after receiving a $1,000,000 challenge grant from the Kresge Foundation.

To date, CBU has successfully raised $10.3 million of the $14.2 million required to complete the Science Project, which includes both the renovation of Assisi Hall and construction of the Cooper-Wilson Center for Life Sciences. To secure the $1 million challenge grant, CBU needs an additional $2.9 million in new private gifts, pledges and grants by January 1, 2009 to achieve full funding for this project.

The three-story, 32,000 square foot Cooper-Wilson Center for Life Sciences will connect to the south side of the present Assisi Hall and complement its architecture. The Center will expand all science programs by doubling the space for classrooms and laboratories and will include larger faculty offices. All laboratories will have state-of-the art instrumentation and computers. New, multi-purpose rooms will provide space for research, study, conferences, meetings, and a student lounge.

The renovation of Assisi Hall will significantly increase educational space for state-of-the-art laboratories and classrooms and enable the University to better prepare students for graduate, medical, and pharmacy schools and work in the health related and biomedical industries. Both construction and renovation will be complete by August 2008 in time for fall classes.

“I am heartened at the confidence demonstrated by the Kresge Foundation in awarding our institution this challenge grant,” says Brother Vincent Malham, CBU president, “and on behalf of our entire university community, I thank the Foundation most sincerely for its generous expression of support. At the same time, I am fully cognizant of the challenge we face to raise the remaining $2.9 million to qualify for the grant. Because of the strategic importance of the project, both for our students and for the Memphis community, I am confident we can do it.”

The Kresge Foundation is a private, national foundation that supports communities by building the capacity of nonprofit organizations in six areas: health, the environment, arts and culture, education, human services and community development. CBU was awarded its grant in the area of education. 

The Foundation’s primary grantmaking tool is its Challenge Grant Program. It is designed to assist nonprofit organizations as they work to strengthen leadership and financial support for capital projects. The challenge grant supports the construction and renovation of facilities, the acquisition of property and the purchase of equipment.

“With the awarding of this grant, we are saluting CBU’s efforts to improve conditions and advance opportunities in the Memphis community,” says Rip Rapson, president of the Kresge Foundation. “We must partner with nonprofit organizations such as CBU if we are to pursue our grantmaking vision. They enable our work as much as we try to enable theirs.”

For more information on how to become a part of the exciting growth at CBU, contact the Advancement Office at 321-3270. ###

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