Elon parent Steve Anderson P’16 has made a $125,000 gift to the Elon LEADS Campaign to support the university's innovative new hub for STEM education, which offers "hope for the future."
Steve Anderson P’16, of Great Falls, Virginia, has continued his generous support of the Elon LEADS Campaign by making a $125,000 gift to the planned Innovation Quad, the dynamic future home for cross-disciplinary studies involving STEM education and Elon’s engineering and physics departments.
Anderson said he was inspired to support the game-changing Innovation Quad that will further STEM education at Elon and play a role in preparing future leaders to address complex challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Anderson has been involved in the COVID-19 testing and vaccination efforts as president and CEO of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS), whose members are playing an essential role in providing COVID-19 vaccinations to 330 million Americans at their 40,000 stores. Ninety percent of all Americans live within five miles of those locations, making NACDS members the most accessible healthcare professionals in the country, Anderson said.
“In my leadership role with the association, I’ve seen firsthand the impact and importance of innovation as we navigate and end the pandemic, and that’s one of the major reasons for this gift,” Anderson said. “The idea that we can have a virus change the world’s economies and societies as quickly as it did is staggering. The IQ gives me hope for the future and that’s why it deserves strong support.”
The Innovation Quad is among the top priorities of the $250 million Elon LEADS Campaign and Boldly Elon, the university’s 10-year strategic plan, which calls for advancing existing STEM programs, adding new STEM programs and expanding science facilities.
“Elon does a tremendous job of positioning itself extremely well to prepare students for new challenges and for a future that none of us can predict,” Anderson said. “The timing of the IQ is perfect and it shows great leadership by Elon.”
Anderson has been impressed by Elon’s national leadership in experiential education and commitment to giving students a strong foundation in the arts and sciences. His son, Brandon, graduated in 2016 with a degree in finance.
“Elon changed Brandon’s life and prepared him well for a lifetime of success in an uncertain world, and that speaks volumes about the university,” he said. “You don’t get compartmentalized when you attend Elon. The fact that you can bring together a business and engineering curriculum or any curriculum with engineering, that’s a unique perspective that a liberal arts education brings and that’s what Elon fosters.”
Anderson has been a loyal benefactor to Elon, supporting scholarships, the Phoenix Club and the Martha and Spencer Love School of Business. In 2016, he made a $250,000 commitment to name the North Terrace in Richard W. Sankey Hall. Anderson is a member of Elon’s President’s Advisory Council, served as co-chair of the Washington, D.C., regional committee of the Elon LEADS Campaign and is a former member of the university’s Parents Council.
Anderson has high hopes for the Innovation Quad and looks forward to watching the project develop. A groundbreaking ceremony is anticipated for later this year.
“Elon students want to be engaged and change society, and having the IQ will be very attractive to prospective students who are considering Elon.”
The Innovation Quad: A Game-Changing Endeavor
The first two buildings of the Innovation Quad will be located between the Dalton L. McMichael Sr. Science Center and Richard W. Sankey Hall, creating a powerful link between STEM education, the sciences and the Love School of Business. This will be the heart of the IQ and constitutes the initial phase of a long-term investment by Elon into science, creativity and discovery that will be accessible to all students. Future phases call for academic and residence halls, a series of corporate-sponsored incubators and design hubs that will promote cross-disciplinary studies and collaboration.
IQ1 has been named Founders Hall following a generous gift from Elon alumnus Furman Moseley ’56 and his wife, Susan, whose commitment is among the largest ever received by the university. Plans for Founders Hall 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 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. It 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. As of January 15, donors had contributed $204 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.