UD has announced an additional $5 million grant from Unidel Foundation, Inc. for construction of the Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Laboratory. The University will use Unidel grant to fund a challenge match to motivate other prospective donors.

Unidel Challenge

Unidel commits additional $5 million to ISE Lab; UD announces challenge

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8:07 a.m., Jan. 14, 2013--The University of Delaware has received a $5 million commitment from the Unidel Foundation Inc. to support the construction of the Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Laboratory (ISE Lab). To help motivate others to invest in the ISE Lab project, the University has decided to use this gift to establish a challenge to other prospective donors.

The Unidel Challenge will be in effect during 2013 to provide donors the chance to significantly upgrade their naming opportunity within the ISE Lab building. As long as sufficient matching funds remain during the challenge period, all new gifts to the ISE Lab of $50,000 to $2.5 million will receive a 1:1 match for the purpose of naming opportunities. For example, a donor who makes a gift of $50,000 during the Unidel Challenge period will receive a naming opportunity valued at $100,000. There are currently 126 naming opportunities still available in the ISE Lab. 

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“We are profoundly grateful to the Unidel Foundation, led by Board President Irénée du Pont Jr., for this tremendous show of support, and for allowing us to use the foundation’s generosity to inspire and reward the generosity of others,” said UD President Patrick T. Harker. “For more than 50 years, the Unidel Foundation has partnered with UD to build an institution of higher education worthy of the First State. Unidel’s support of the ISE Lab strengthens our partnership and is a critical asset helping us fulfill our ambitious academic and research agendas.”

The Unidel Challenge is a first-come, first-served matching program. Matching funds will be applied as they are received by the University only to applicable cash gifts and pledge payments allocated to the ISE Lab project. Donations from individuals and family foundations are eligible for the Unidel Challenge match. Corporate matching gifts and foundation gifts are not eligible for this challenge. Donations from companies and corporations will be reviewed and matched on a case-by-case basis.

Donations made to the ISE Lab prior to Jan. 1, 2013 are not eligible for the match; however prior donors will be eligible to receive the Unidel Challenge match on any new or additional donations to their existing gifts of $50,000 or more, up to $2.5 million.

The 194,000-square-foot ISE Lab, currently under construction at the corner of Lovett Avenue and Academy Street, is the first major laboratory to be built at UD in 20 years.  The facility will provide much-needed teaching, classroom, research and laboratory space to the Newark campus. UD Interim Provost Nancy Brickhouse said she is excited by the academic possibilities the ISE Lab facility will create for UD students.

“Studies show that many students can best learn science and other subjects by actually working through curricula-related problems rather than simply reading textbooks and attending lectures,” said Brickhouse. “This hands-on model of problem-based learning requires a very specific educational setting. By providing that unique setting, the Unidel Foundation and other supporters of the ISE Lab are allowing UD to implement a more participatory, interactive learning experience for our students. For that, we are immensely thankful.”

Construction on the ISE Lab facility should be completed late this summer, with a grand opening celebration slated to occur on Oct. 3.

“Unidel Trustees are pleased to continue support to areas across the University. Unidel hopes that this grant will be matched by others who recognize the significance of the ISE Lab to the quality of teaching and research at UD,” said Arno Loessner, secretary/treasurer of Unidel Foundation, Inc. 

The Unidel Foundation was founded in 1939 by Amy Elizabeth du Pont in memory of her father, Eugene du Pont, former head of the DuPont Company. Miss du Pont had served on the Board of Trustees' advisory committee on the Women's College, which with Delaware College, became the University of Delaware in the 1920s. She was the first person in Delaware to direct her philanthropy to the higher education of women, according to noted Delaware historian Carol Hoffecker, and this was a most important legacy. 

Among many initiatives, gifts from Unidel support UD's most prestigious scholarship program, named in honor of Eugene du Pont. Unidel grants have also helped with the renovation of Memorial Hall, the construction of the Amy E. du Pont Music Building and funded the creation of the nationally recognized University Honors Program. The Unidel Foundation’s current $5 million gift is the third grant they have given to UD in support of the construction of the ISE Lab, bringing the Foundation’s total contribution to this facility to $13 million.

Article by Shannon Pote

Photo by Evan Krape

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