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Emerson Foundation Issues Challenge Grant For Clarkson University Science Labs

The Fred L. Emerson Foundation of Auburn, N.Y., has authorized a $500,000 challenge grant for renovation of science laboratories at Clarkson University. The grant is contingent upon the University raising $500,000 or more in matching funds from other donors by November 2002.

Renovations will include undergraduate teaching labs and research facilities in the Cora and Bayard Clarkson Science Center. The laboratories for biology, physics and chemistry will be upgraded to accommodate information technology and serve innovative curricular changes.

Clarkson faculty teaching undergraduate science courses have integrated team learning and creative problem solving experiences into laboratory coursework. This places unique demands on laboratory design. Plans are to replace the traditional row-style lab benches, built over 30 years ago, with interactive team learning stations, complete with computer simulation capabilities, as well as state-of-the-art equipment for experimentation. Research laboratory renovations will include improved facilities for undergraduate research activities.

More than two thirds of all undergraduates take one or more courses in the Science Center, making it one of Clarkson’s most highly used academic facilities.

“The refurbished laboratories will provide our students with opportunities to enhance the skills they will need to succeed in the technology-focused world they will face upon graduation," said Clarkson President Denny Brown. "We are extremely grateful for the Emerson Foundation's support and the accompanying incentive for other donors to become involved." 

The Emerson Foundation has issued similar challenges to Clarkson in the past for the construction of the Cheel Campus Center and endowed scholarships.

This gift is part of “The Campaign for Clarkson,” which includes fundraising priorities for new construction, student financial aid and academic excellence initiatives. To date, the University has raised more than $47 million toward its $70-million goal.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or]

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