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State Awards Susquehanna University $4 Million for New Science Facility

August 6, 2008

SELINSGROVE, (Pa.) – Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell today awarded $4 million in state funds to Susquehanna University to help construct a new 75,000-square-foot, LEED-certified science building that will house biology, chemistry and earth and environmental sciences. The investment in Susquehanna is the second largest gift to the university in its 150-year history.

"It is absolutely clear that how we do as a nation in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) will determine if we remain a viable economic power," Rendell said. Today's investment, Rendell said, is intended to help "great universities like Susquehanna to attract more students" to the sciences, produce terrific science research and develop entrepreneurial ideas.

President L. Jay Lemons joined Governor Rendell in thanking state legislators, county commissioners, and Selinsgrove borough officials, community leaders representing the Degenstein Foundation and the Greater Susquehanna Valley Chamber of Commerce as well as countless individuals for advocating on behalf of the project.

"A friend once told me that failure is an orphan but success has many parents," Lemons said. "On behalf of the entire Susquehanna community - its faculty, staff, alumni and students - I thank all of you very much. This institution came to be because a group of town leaders believed in educational innovation and one man's vision to change lives every day. Together they worked to bring this university to Selinsgrove in 1858. And so your decision to support our university on its 150th anniversary is a very historic moment, indeed. We are grateful to you, Governor, for embracing our vision to make this region a model rural community."

Construction of the new science building will commence later this month and is expected to be open in the fall of 2010. The environmentally responsible facility will be the largest academic building on campus and will transform teaching and learning at this national liberal arts college.

Construction of the new building, along with renovations to the existing Fisher Science Hall, will accommodate anticipated enrollment growth at Susquehanna. All students are required to take science courses. With 19 teaching and research labs, 30 prep and support spaces, and a rooftop greenhouse, the new facility will provide high-quality, modern laboratory and teaching space. More than two-thirds of Fisher Hall will be available after the new building opens, offering larger and more modern spaces to numerous academic programs. The cost of building the new facility is $33 million. With today's announcement, Susquehanna has raised slightly more than $14 million for the project.

Rendell made the announcement today at Bucknell University, as part of $15 million in new state investments in Union and Snyder counties that will leverage $62 million in private and local funding, create and protect 250 jobs, improve public safety, grow the economy and build stronger communities.

Contact: Gerald Cohen

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