A Fort Wayne organization has pledged $500,000 to help Trine University expand its Allen School of Engineering and Computing.
The planned $10 million expansion “will provide added space and resources for Trine's growing engineering and computer science and information technology programs,” the university announced Tuesday.
The pledge is from the English Bonter Mitchell Foundation, which has supported higher education, cultural programs and programs for young people.
Mike Eikenberry, a member of the foundation's distribution committee, said the Trine project aligns with his organization's support of “projects that enhance the lives of youth and the northeast Indiana community.”
“Economic and labor statistics point to a growing demand for STEM professionals, and Trine University has been a leader in providing STEM education for this region for well over 100 years,” he said, referring to the acronym for science, technology, engineering and math.
“Trine's expanding STEM programs not only provide youth with skills needed by the region's employers, they help keep the Fort Wayne area and northeast Indiana competitive as a whole.”
The project includes a nearly 40,000-square-foot expansion to the university's engineering and computing space that will be used to train students in areas such as hardware and software development, computer networking, cybersecurity and health informatics.
Plans include constructing new labs and classrooms, a cafe and “a maker space to foster creativity,” according to the news release.
Trine spokesman James Tew said construction has not started.
“We are so grateful for partners such as the English Bonter Mitchell Foundation who are willing to invest in the future of this region and in the lives of young people who attend Trine University,” President Earl Brooks said.
“With the demand for professionals in engineering and computer science, and with Trine's proven record of developing career-ready alumni, more than 99% of whom are employed or in graduate school within six months of graduation, we know this generous grant will pay dividends for many years to come.”
The pledge will be added to Trine's $125 million Invest in Excellence campaign, which has raised about $111 million for projects there.