James Foundation pledges $1.5 million toward Trine engineering building expansion

Trine University has received a major pledge from the James Foundation toward a planned $8.5 million expansion to Fawick Hall, home to several of the university’s engineering departments.

The James Foundation, Inc. of Auburn, Indiana, has pledged $1.5 million toward the expansion, which will provide added space and resources for Trine’s biomedical, chemical, civil, mechanical and electrical engineering programs, as well as design engineering technology.

The new addition also will house the university’s new School of Computing, encompassing programs in software and computing engineering, and computer science and information technology.

Dr. Rick L. James, a 1977 Trine University graduate and chair of its Board of Trustees, and his wife, Dr. Vicki L. James, established the James Foundation, Inc. to enhance the quality of life in northeast Indiana and around the country through enhancing existing social platforms and providing new educational and cultural opportunities.

“Engineering has been central to Trine University since 1902, and we are excited to provide expanded resources for Trine engineers while at the same time training students to help meet the critical technology infrastructure and cybersecurity needs of our region and nation,” said Dr. Rick L. James.

“Trine University continues to be honored and blessed by the generosity of The James Foundation as well as many others who stand behind our mission and vision,” said Earl D. Brooks II, Ph.D., Trine president. “Such support is essential as we continue to enhance our educational offerings and impact the quality of life and quality of place throughout northeast Indiana by empowering students to have successful, meaningful careers.”

Current designs for the Fawick expansion include an airy, glass-walled exterior that will make a striking addition to the heart of the Trine University campus. The expansion also will feature:

  • state-of-the-art technology supporting new classrooms and labs, including an artificial intelligence/virtual reality lab;
  • movable walls in some classroom areas to allow for greater flexibility;
  • an active learning lab with a maker space to foster creativity;
  • expanded faculty office space; and
  • bright, open spaces for collaboration and conversation, including a new gathering point and cafe available to the entire campus.

The gift is part of the $125 million Invest in Excellence campaign, which already has raised more than $106 million. For more information on supporting the campaign or the Fawick Hall expansion, call (260) 665-4114 or visit trine.edu/give.