The lead gift, among the largest ever given to Elon, by Furman ‘56 and Susan Moseley will name IQ One and marks a significant step forward in the launch of facilities that will house Elon’s engineering and STEM programs.
The first of two planned buildings in Elon University’s foundational Innovation Quad will be named Founders Hall thanks to a naming commitment from Furman ’56 and Susan Moseley as part of the Elon LEADS Campaign.
The gift from the Seattle couple is designated toward phase one of the Innovation Quad (IQ), a bold step in Elon’s effort to advance studies in science, engineering and technology while enhancing the university’s nationally recognized leadership in engaged, cross-disciplinary learning. In addition, the gift adds to the Moseleys’ previously established Susan Scholars Endowment, which provides scholarships for students in Elon’s Odyssey Program.
The Innovation Quad 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.
President Connie Ledoux Book called the gift a major step forward in the Elon LEADS Campaign, which includes fundraising goals to support Elon’s leadership in STEM education by connecting those disciplines to programs across campus, including business, entrepreneurship, analytics, sales and communications. “We are deeply grateful to Furman and Susan for this transformative gift, their shared vision, and their ongoing support of student scholarships,” Book said. “This is an important moment in Elon’s history. The Innovation Quad will create a dynamic learning environment that will be the entry point to STEM education on our campus.”
The Moseleys chose the name “Founders Hall” to honor the long legacy of leadership at Elon. “The spirit of this gift honors those who helped build Elon through the years, especially our presidents,” said Jim Piatt, vice president for university advancement. “Furman Moseley was a student during President Smith’s tenure and went on to develop close relationships with Presidents Danieley, Young, Lambert and Book. The name ‘Founders Hall’ is a testament to the dedication and vision of many in the Elon family.”
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.
President Book continued, “Founders Hall will become an anchor of the Innovation Quad, which in many ways began two decades ago when the McMichael Science Center was built at the corner of Haggard and O’Kelly avenues. The vision and generosity of the McMichael Family led to increasing strengths in the sciences, which propels us to this day.”
“We are incredibly grateful for the Moseley’s investment in the future of the institution,” said Gabie Smith, dean of Elon College, the College of Arts and Sciences. “The facilities in the Innovation Quad will provide all Elon students and faculty with rich opportunities to collaborate in inquiry-based design as we address the complex issues affecting our world.”
The Innovation Quad: An Investment in the Future
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 majors. 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.
“The Innovation Quad will be a hub of deepened disciplinary work in engineering and physics, thanks to innovative spaces for teaching, real-world projects and research,” said Sirena Hargrove-Leak, associate professor of engineering, and chair of the Department of Engineering. “The engineering curriculum is largely based on addressing societal needs such as access to clean water, sustainable energy sources and restoring infrastructure. The key to tackling big societal issues such as these is inviting the voices and perspectives of many. With its central location on campus and many engagement spaces, the Innovation Quad will also serve as a hub for interdisciplinary collaboration.”
Martin Kamela, associate professor of physics and chair of the Department of Physics, said the Innovation Quad will not only serve Elon students but society as a whole.
“Today, more than ever, we’re reminded of the importance of science and technology, both in research and development and in the public’s competence to make clear-sighted decisions,” Kamela said. “The Innovation Quad is an investment in the future well-being of our society through generations of Elon students contributing as engineers, physicists and well-informed citizens.”
Plans for Founders Hall include 20,000 square feet for large workshops and prefabrication spaces where 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, a virtual reality classroom, prefabrication labs and student engagement spaces to spark innovation.
IQ Two 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, physics, astronomy, biophysics, mechanical engineering 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 Innovation Quad 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.
Scott Wolter ’85, associate professor of engineering, said the Innovation Quad takes Elon’s commitment to nurturing global citizens to the next level and reflects the goals expressed in the Elon Teacher-Scholar statement to cultivate “informed critical thinking, creative expression and a desire to serve the common good.”
“The Innovation Quad provides learning spaces and student engagement opportunities to meet this commitment, and in doing so, addresses science and engineering challenges that face us this century,” Wolter said.
Furman Moseley is the retired chairman of Simpson Paper Co. Susan Moseley is president of the Spark Charitable Foundation. Their gift to the Innovation Quad is the largest single philanthropic commitment to date for the project. This gift will also provide additional funding for the Susan Scholarships, an endowment the Moseleys created in 2007. Through the years, they have also supported the Georgeo Scholarships in the Odyssey Program; construction of the Moseley Center and Ernest A. Koury Business Center; and Phoenix athletics, including Schar Center and Rhodes Stadium.
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 $195 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.