Hunts make generous gift to support Innovation Quad, STEM education

A $100,000 gift from Sam Hunt IV and Krista Hunt supports the first phase of a bold project that will advance the university’s engineering and STEM programs. This gift is part of the Elon LEADS Campaign.

Sam Hunt IV and his wife, Krista Hunt, have made a $100,000 gift to the Elon LEADS Campaign to support the university’s planned Innovation Quad, the visionary entry point to Elon’s future.

Sam Hunt IV and Krista Hunt

The first two buildings of the Innovation Quad, called IQ1 and IQ2, will be located between the Dalton L. McMichael Science Center and Richard W. Sankey Hall, creating a connecting point between STEM education, the sciences and the Martha and Spencer Love School of Business.

The generous gift will name the Engineering Lab Manager’s Office in the IQ1 building.

Sam Hunt IV is president of Hunt Electric Supply in Burlington, North Carolina, and Krista is co-owner of Bella’s House, a home furnishings store in downtown Burlington. While neither attended Elon, Sam and Krista grew up in Alamance County and greatly appreciate Elon’s many contributions to their community. Members of the Hunt family have been longtime generous donors to the University.

“We are excited to be a part of this first phase of the Innovation Quad and the impact it will have on the entire Elon campus,” the couple said.

President Connie Ledoux Book thanked the Hunts for their commitment to the Innovation Quad, which will link STEM education to other disciplines across campus, including business, entrepreneurship, analytics, sales and communications.

“We are deeply grateful to Sam and Krista Hunt for generously supporting the entry point to Elon’s future,” Book said. “The Innovation Quad is a visionary and necessary step that builds upon Elon’s national leadership in engaged and cross-disciplinary learning. The dynamic learning environment in the IQ will prepare the next generation of leaders and thinkers our world needs to address complex challenges.”

The Innovation Quad: An Investment in the Future  

A rendering of the Innovation Quad, which will be located between Dalton L. McMichael Science Center & Richard W. Sankey Hall.
A rendering of the Innovation Quad, which will be located between Dalton L. McMichael Science Center &Richard W. Sankey Hall.

The Innovation Quad will be the new home of Elon’s engineering and physics departments, with construction anticipated to begin in 2021. The IQ is among the top priorities of the Elon LEADS Campaign and Boldly Elon, the university’s new 10-year strategic plan, which calls for advancing existing STEM programs, adding new STEM programs and expanding science facilities.

The first two buildings represent the heart of the Innovation Quad and constitute the initial phase of a long-term investment by Elon into science, creativity and discovery that will be accessible to all students, regardless of their major. Future phases will include academic and residence halls, as well as a series of incubators and design hubs that will foster cross-disciplinary studies and collaboration.

Plans for the IQ1 facility include 20,000 square feet for large workshops and prefabrication spaces where physics and engineering students and faculty can take big ideas and transform them into prototypes. The two-story building will be the backbone of Elon’s growing engineering curriculum, which is now a four-year program. The facility will include design labs for engineering and physics, a mechatronics classroom, prefabrication labs, an astrophysics lab and student engagement spaces to spark innovation.

IQ2 will provide connected classrooms and labs, group study rooms and faculty offices. The three-story, 40,000-square-foot facility will be the home for cutting-edge, cross-disciplinary studies and research in biomedicine, computer science, physics, biophysics and environmental engineering. The facility will face McMichael Science Center on one side and Sankey Hall on the other, solidifying the connection of science to entrepreneurship, sales, design thinking and analytics.

About the Elon LEADS Campaign  

With a $250 million goal, Elon LEADS is the largest fundraising campaign in the university’s history and will support four main funding priorities: scholarships for graduates the world needs, increase access to engaged learning opportunities such as study abroad, research and service learning, support for faculty and staff mentors who matter and Elon’s iconic campus. To date, donors have contributed $190 million toward the goal.

Every gift to the university—including annual, endowment, capital, estate and other planned gifts—for any designation counts as a gift to the campaign, which will support students and strengthen Elon for generations to come. To learn more about how you can make an impact, visit