• Thanks to a second $1 million grant from The Brown Foundation, Inc. and a matching grant from the Mabee Foundation, Southwestern now has enough to begin work on the first phase of its new science center project.

Southwestern University has received a $1.15 million grant from The Brown Foundation, Inc. of Houston.

One million dollars of the grant will go toward construction of the university’s new science center, and will allow the university to claim a $1 million challenge grant from the J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation of Tulsa, Okla. In January, the Mabee Foundation offered Southwestern $1 million in matching funds for the science center if it could raise an additional $1 million by the end of 2013.

This grant is the second one The Brown Foundation, Inc. has given for construction of Southwestern’s new science center. The foundation gave an initial $1 million grant for the project in 2012.

With the new grant from The Brown Foundation, Inc. and the matching grant from the Mabee Foundation, Southwestern has raised $8 million of the $24 million needed for the new science center. This will be enough to begin work on the first phase of the project, which will add 23,700 square feet of space to Southwestern’s existing Fondren-Jones Science Building. This will be done by constructing an L-shaped addition on the southeast corner of the existing building. Work on this part of the project is expected to begin in the spring of 2014.

The second phase of the project will be the complete remodeling of the original 1954 section of the science building. When that is completed, a new three-story entrance will be built on the northwest side of the building. The finished building will have 103,000 square feet for classrooms, offices, seminar rooms and laboratories.

“We are very grateful that The Brown Foundation, Inc. continues to believe in Southwestern’s aspirations,” said President Jake B. Schrum. “It was their support that allowed Southwestern to envision itself as a national liberal arts college in the 1980s and their very generous support of our new science facility encourages us to compete nationally in the sciences.”

The new grant from The Brown Foundation, Inc. brings to $146 million the total raised to date for Thinking Ahead: The Southwestern Campaign, which was publicly launched in March 2006. Southwestern is trying to complete the $150 million campaign by the time President Schrum retires from Southwestern at the end of June.

Other major gifts that have been received to support phase one of the science center project include a $3 million gift from The Cullen Foundation, a $1 million gift from the Fondren Foundation, and $350,000 from the Albert and Margaret Alkek Foundation.

The remaining $150,000 of the new Brown Foundation grant will go to the Jake and Jane Schrum Paideia Fund, which was established in honor of retiring President Schrum and his wife, Jane. That fund has raised $650,000 so far to support student scholarships and Southwestern’s signature Paideia program, which offers students a unique interdisciplinary approach to education.