Two Indiana University of Pennsylvania alumni have donated $1.25 million toward a new IUP science and mathematics facility.
Tim and Debra Cejka’s donation is the first made toward the estimated $73.4 million facility, which is still in the planning stages. The facility is to be funded by the Commonwealth’s capital project budget.
Tim Cejka, former president of ExxonMobil Exploration Company, is a member of IUP’s College of Natural Science and Mathematics Alumni Advisory Board and – in the words of Michelle Fryling, IUP’s director of communications and media relations – an “active alumnus.” Both he and his wife are members of IUP’s class of 1973.
Deanne Snavely, dean of IUP’s College of Natural Science and Mathematics, said the Cejka’s donation was a “wonderful contribution to the project.”
“The Cejka’s are wonderful supporters, and their contribution will help us provide improved resources and opportunities to future students at IUP,” she said. “Their gift is an inspiration to all of us.”
The design phase of the new science building, which will be built in the space now occupied by Keith and Leonard halls, is planned for 2014-15, and construction will follow, Snavely said.
Plans for the new facility include classrooms, study areas, state-of-the-art instructional laboratories, laboratory facilities for student research and improved environmental controls for more efficient energy use, Snavely said.
“The most important aspect of the new science building is that it will tremendously improve the science facilities for IUP students – both natural science and mathematics majors and students who take science courses for majors in other fields of study,” she said.
In a January news release, IUP President Michael A. Driscoll said that a new science and mathematics facility was a “missing ingredient” in IUP’s programming.
“With the Cejka’s help, our science programs will flourish and provide the science community with new, highly qualified talent,” Driscoll said.
The science and mathematics facility is part of IUP’s Long-Range Campus Facilities Master Plan, according to Snavely, which consists of three phases spanning up to 20 years. The plan is being developed by SmithGroupJJR, an architecture, engineering and planning firm out of Ann Arbor, Mich.
In addition to the science and mathematics facility, the first phase of the plan also includes the new Humanities and Social Sciences building, which will be located next to the Stapleton Library.