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LTU's Biggest Gift Ever, $20M, Will Create STEM Center

SOUTHFIELD (WWJ) -- Lawrence Technological University has received a $20 million gift to support its "Proud Heritage, Bold Future" capital campaign. It is the largest cash gift in the 4,500-student private university's 81-year history.

The gift will be used to help fund the planned Richard E. Marburger STEM Center, which will support existing STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) programs at LTU and introduce new programs.

Marburger was the university's fourth president from 1977 to 1993 and remains active on campus as he approaches his 50th anniversary of service to the university.

The donor, meanwhile, wishes to be anonymous.

"This is a transformational contribution that provides Lawrence Tech an unprecedented opportunity to advance several long-term goals at the same time," said LTU President Virinder Moudgil. "The university has plans in place for exciting new educational initiatives and can now move ahead to enhance its leadership position in delivering cutting-edge education in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics."

Educational areas to be supported by the proposed Marburger STEM Center include robotics; software engineering; modeling, simulation and visualization; nanotechnology; medical simulations and informatics; computer-assisted molecular modeling; synthetic biology; "green" chemistry; and design thinking.

The Marburger STEM Center will also support academic programming in sustainable design, energy systems, architectural engineering, game art and game design, media communication, transportation and industrial design, digital humanities, digital marketing, and mathematics.

A new cross-disciplinary learning environment will increase training and instructional resources for the LTU faculty. New faculty members would lead the integration of technologies and experiential learning into curricula and research.

A significant portion of the gift will also fund need-based scholarships at LTU in order to improve accessibility to higher education.

The gift is also a major step toward reaching LTU's capital campaign goal of $100 million, which has raised $76 million over the previous six years. The three main targets for the capital campaign are:
• Facilities and infrastructure, $55 million.
• Endowment and scholarships, $35 million.
• Academics and program innovation, $10 million.

"This remarkable gift allows Lawrence Tech to accelerate its progress in becoming a national leader in STEM education and improving the educational experiences and outcomes for our students," Moudgil said. "Continuously improving the University's quality and service is paramount. We are extremely grateful."

This spring Lawrence Tech unveiled preliminary plans for the 125,000-square-foot A. Alfred Taubman Engineering, Life Sciences, and Architecture Complex that is expected to cost $55 million. Construction is expected to start next year and a portion of the gift will help provide new learning facilities in that building.

In July, LTU received the largest in-kind software grant in its history with a commercial value of $40 million from Siemens PLM Software. The in-kind grant gives LTU students access to the same technology that companies around the world use every day to develop innovative products that are engineered for manufacturability in a wide variety of industries including automotive, aerospace, defense, machinery, medical, high-tech, electronics and many more.

Lawrence Technological University,, is a private university founded in 1932 that offers more than 100 programs through the doctoral level in its Colleges of Architecture and Design, Arts and Sciences, Engineering, and Management. PayScale lists Lawrence Tech among the nation's top 7 percent of universities for return on undergraduate tuition investment, and highest in the Detroit metropolitan area. Lawrence Tech is also listed in the top tier of Midwestern universities by U.S. News and World Report and the Princeton Review. Activities on Lawrence Tech's 102-acre campus include over 60 student clubs and organizations and a growing roster of NAIA varsity sports.

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