December 5, 2013

$10 million gift to help fund Colby College science building

The new Davis Science Center, currently under construction, will house the computer science, mathematics and statistics, and psychology departments.

By Jesse Scardina jscardina@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

WATERVILLE — Colby College announced Wednesday that it will receive a $10 million gift to help fund a new science building currently under construction.

click image to enlarge

The new David Science Center at Colby College.

Contributed photo

 Click here to view a slideshow of the new Davis Science Center being built.

The gift from the Shelby Cullom Davis Charitable Fund will support the new Davis Science Center, which will house the computer science, mathematics and statistics, and psychology departments, according to a news release from the college.

The cost of the Davis Science Center is about $18.6 million, according to Michael Kiser, vice president for communications at Colby College.

The 36,400-square-foot building is being built to the standards of the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, and is expected to be completed by the start of the 2014 school year.

The science center will house a robotics laboratory and a behavioral neuroscience research suite, as well as classrooms and computer laboratories, Kiser said.

The new building will shift the psychology and computer science departments from the Roberts Building to the academic center of the campus. The Roberts Building will be converted into student housing.

“It consolidates some departments that have been spread out over the campus,” Kiser said. “It’s a huge opportunity for faculty and students in the same departments to work together.”

The space left in the Seeley G. Mudd Science Building with the departure of the mathematics and statistics departments will increase teaching and research space for other departments in the building.

“The impacts from this gift and the building will have a ripple effect for a number of years,” Kiser said.

The building is named for the Davis family, including Shelby M.C. Davis, who, along with his wife, founded the Davis United World College Scholars Program at Colby in 1999; and his son Andrew, a 1985 Colby College graduate and a current trustee emeritus of the college.

Andrew Davis’ grandfather Shelby Cullom Davis, an investment banker and former U.S. ambassador to Switzerland, started the charitable foundation that donates money for higher education opportunities.

“The Davis family has been a significant part of this campus for a long time,” Kiser said.

The $10-million donation is among the largest in the school’s history, according to the release.

The recently donated Lunder Collection, featuring more than 500 pieces of American artwork, is valued at more than $100 million.

 

Jesse Scardina — 861-9239

jscardina@centralmaine.com Twitter: @jessescardina

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