Support for a new flagship — and a legacy.
Not long after University President Eric Kaler outlined plans for a$300 million research building on Case Quad, the Case Alumni Association committed $5 million to the project — the largest gift in its 138-year history. Several Case alumni stepped forward with generous donations of their own, lending the capital campaign a promising start.
Kaler, a chemical engineer, had argued an investment in research facilities is long overdue at CWRU. But that’s not all that’s been resonating with Case alumni as plans for the Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Building take shape.
The project leverages the Case legacy in its promise of launching a new era of research leadership. A presentation for prospective donors notes that the building will reunite science and engineering on Case Quad, the historic home of Case Institute of Technology, which earned renown for pioneering research and innovation.
Plans call for the building to include a “legacy wall” that pays tribute to the Case story. And the CAA, the nation’s oldest independent alumni association of science and engineering graduates, will be recognized for its leading gift.
All of that makes an alumnus like Tom Seitz ’70 think of his hard-earned engineering degree. In the federation era, he had the option of which institution would issue his diploma. His choice? “CIT,” he says pridefully.
The retired senior vice president of Sherwin-Williams was one of the first to support the project with a generous donation. He thinks new lab facilities are essential — and he thinks the symbolism will inspire others.
“There’s a strong attachment to Case Quad and the identity it carries with it,” Seitz said.
A new flagship will borrow from the past. And that may be just what’s needed today.
Robert L. Smith