A Manchester University graduate and his wife have given $2.5 million toward a $9 million academic center, the university announced today.
In a statement, the North Manchester university said the gift from 1968 graduate Mike Jarvis and his wife, Sandy, of Franklin, is timed to encourage other Manchester graduates to help complete the $100 million Students First! campaign and to honor the leadership of President Jo Young Switzer, who is retiring June 30.
"Manchester planted the seeds for my growth and success," Mike Jarvis said in the statement. "We want to help continue that environment for future students."
Switzer said: "(W)e celebrate people like Sandy and Mike Jarvis whose gift has helped to provide a perfect space for students and faculty."
Mike Jarvis founded, developed and later sold Franklin Power Products, a vehicle power systems company, the statement said. It said he then established Jarvis Enterprises, with numerous companies engaged in telecommunications, automotive technology, real estate, farming and health technology.
More than half the university's academic programs are housed in the three-story center, which opened in fall 2012 on Manchester's mall, the statement said. Those programs include business and accounting, the social sciences, English, peace studies and modern languages.
A critical $5 million remains to be raised in the Students First! campaign, the university said. The money is to go to new learning spaces, endowed scholarships, a new administration building, Chime Tower, the College of Pharmacy and The Manchester Fund.