Suter West Campaign
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Suter Science Campaign Marks Successful Completion!

As EMU marks the completion of its Centennial year, another milestone has been achieved: the successful conclusion of the Suter Science Center capital campaign! More than $11.4 million has been raised toward the original goal of $11.3 million.

"On behalf of a grateful university community, I offer our heartfelt thanks to hundreds of generous alumni and friends who ensured the success of this campaign with their gifts and commitments," says Kirk Shisler '81, vice president for advancement. "We were able to reach and exceed our goal in the final weeks of the campaign thanks to a generous challenge gift from a board member along with the generous response of alumni and friends."

The new Engineering labs in the lower level of "Suter West" are receiving finishing touches even as new lab equipment is arriving in anticipation of the students' return for the fall semesters next month. During the coming year, additional renovations will begin to update S-106 lecture hall and other spaces in the upper level of the science center. 

Additional contributions are welcome to address future needs for lab equipment as well as endowment to support the long term maintenance of the Suter Science Center.

The Suter West Renovation

Both lower and upper levels of Suter West must be updated to bring the center into full and productive service. This phase of the campaign will provide new labs to support a new engineering major; renovation of S- 106 lecture hall in honor of President Loren and Pat Swartzendruber; updated HVAC and sprinkler systems; an expanded entrance to include a school bus pick-up and drop-off area; and refurbished classrooms with interactive projection technology.

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New Engineering Major off to a Strong Start

EMU launched a new engineering program in fall 2016, building on its pre-engineering track, offered since 1980. The new Bachelor of Science in engineering offers concentrations in mechanical engineering and computer engineering.

The new major attracted 10 students in its first year plus another 12 in year II of the program. The program is on track to exceed its total enrollment goal of 30 students within the first four years. Ultimately, we expect to grow to as much as twice that number with 60 engineering students across the four years.

Program highlights:

  • Integrate hands-on project learning and curriculum so that graduates are job-ready
  • Offer inter and cross-disciplinary learning opportunities to develop alternative and complementary skill sets
  • Emphasize skills such as communication and collaboration which correlate later with job success
  • Enable inter-disciplinary projects embedded in physics, biology, biochemistry and art

In its first full year of operation, the engineering students – with superior mentoring from the faculty – stunned the academic world by taking top honors among 61 competing schools (including such division I universities as University of Florida, West Virginia University and Virginia Commonwealth University) in the American Society for Engineering Education’s Zone 2 Conference! Read the full story...

To ensure the program’s success, the new labs must be completed no later than Fall 2018!

Engineering Program Facilities

  • a rapid prototyping lab with laser cutter and 3-D scanning and printing technology
  • a computer design lab with computer-aided design and engineering stations
  • an engineering mechanical lab with cutting edge equipment to support materials science, fluid mechanics, and systems and control courses
  • spaces for faculty-student collaboration and group study
  • a redesigned classroom
  • a new computer lab
  • Faculty offices and a seminar / conference room
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A New Day for Iconic S-106 Lecture Hall

S-106 has been a prominent classroom and lecture hall since it opened in 1968. Alumni from the 1970s and early 80s will recall that “IDS” (Interdisciplinary Studies) classes were featured there, along with the ever popular Suter Science lecture series. To this day S-106 is in constant demand to house large classes, lectures and special events including movies hosted by the Campus Activities Council.

As is the case with all the spaces in Suter West, S-106 is in need of a complete renovation to address poor lighting, worn seating (that dates to 1968), and to upgrade the technology to achieve high quality audio and visual elements for enhanced teaching and learning. The approximate cost of this renovation is $500,000.

Note: S-106 is being renovated in honor of former president Loren Swartendruber and his wife, Pat. Donors of $10,000 or more to the Suter West campaign will have the option of being named among Friends of President Loren and Pat Swartzendruber in making the renovation of S-106 and Suter West possible.

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The Suter East Campaign is Complete!

Visit a virtual tour of the Suter East renovation!

Suter Science Center, which opened in 1968, has launched more than 3,500 science and math alumni into professions that embody EMU’s mission to “bring healing and hope to a diverse world.”

The late Dr. Daniel B. Suter and exemplary science faculty who followed him have built a solid foundation for holistic science at EMU. Rooted in Anabaptist-Mennonite values of sustainability, social justice and service to others, the program has produced ethically minded, highly prepared and globally aware graduates who serve with distinction in their respective fields.

In 2013, EMU concluded a $7.3 million campaign – launched in 2007 – to fund the renovation of Suter East, or Phase I of the campaign. The result: transformation of well-worn labs into bright, high tech, state-of-the art facilities commensurate with the needs and expectations of EMU’s outstanding faculty and students. Fall of 2015 marks its use to full capacity.

View the Suter East wing and labs dedication photo gallery.

Thank You for Your Generous Support!

The EMU community offers its appreciation to the hundreds of alumni and friends who have generously supported the Suter Science Campaign during the past ten years!

Even though the campaign is officially complete, additional contributions are always welcome to provide lab equipment as well as the ongoing upkeep of the Suter Science Center.

Additional gifts or commitments an be made by downloading this form or contact Kirk Shisler, Vice President for Advancement, at 540-432-4203 or at kirk.shisler@emu.edu. Online gifts can be made via this link.

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