Elon family makes gift to support Innovation Quad

The generous commitment will support new facilities for the university’s STEM programs, a top priority of the Elon LEADS Campaign and the university’s strategic plan.

A gift from an Elon family will help fund construction of the Innovation Quad, a game-changing commitment to engineering and other STEM-related studies that is a priority of the Elon LEADS Campaign and the university’s new 10-year strategic plan.

The family, who wishes to remain anonymous, is making a gift toward construction of the first two buildings of the Innovation Quad, known as The IQ. It will be a dynamic hub for cross-disciplinary studies, as well as the new home of Elon’s engineering and physics departments. Construction is anticipated to begin in 2021.

The family said they wanted to support the bold vision of the Innovation Quad at Elon.

“We loved the Elon leadership team’s and faculty’s strategic vision and goal of building an engineering program from the ground up that will continue to position Elon as a national leader for the next 50 years and beyond.  It is an ambitious step to take an already highly regarded university with an ascending brand and invest heavily in a competency that will help maintain Elon’s status as an innovative leader in the decades to come with a deeply enhanced STEM focus,” they said.  “We were honored to help contribute to that objective and what we hope will be a lasting mark on the Elon legacy into the 22nd century.”

The Innovation Quad is a transformative step and a key initiative of the Boldly Elon strategic plan, which calls for advancing existing STEM programs, adding new STEM programs and expanding science facilities, said Gabie Smith, dean of Elon College, The College of Arts and Sciences.

“I’m so appreciative for the parents and friends who recognize the unique undergraduate experience we offer to students,” Smith said. “Their generosity in contributing toward Elon’s strategic initiatives — driving STEM education —significantly enhances student experiences as they develop into future leaders in technology, healthcare and science.”

This gift to the Elon LEADS Campaign is the latest in a series of recent commitments from alumni, parents and friends who believe strongly in supporting STEM education, a key reputational driver for Elon.

The first two buildings of the Innovation Quad, called IQ1 and IQ2, will be located between the Dalton L. McMichael Sr. 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. IQ1 and IQ2 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 corporate-sponsored 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.

Plans to move the engineering and physics programs to the IQ will pave the way for renovation of McMichael Science Center to support the growth in the university’s biology, chemistry, health and environmental studies programs.

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 $193 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 www.elonleads.com.