The Dyson Foundation of Millbrook, N.Y., has made a $2.5 million grant to Washington and Lee University to develop the University’s new Center for Global Learning.
Washington and Lee President Kenneth P. Ruscio said that the grant provides a critical boost to the establishment of the center, which is an outgrowth of the 2007 strategic plan and a goal of the current capital campaign, Honor Our Past, Build Our Future: The Campaign for Washington and Lee.
“This is a wonderful gift. We thank for their generosity the Dyson Foundation; its president, Rob Dyson; and its treasurer, Chris Dyson, who is a member of Washington and Lee’s Class of 2000,” said Ruscio. “The grant is a vote of confidence in our plans to expand the University’s horizons through a new facility that will help us meet the goal in our mission statement of preparing students for ‘engaged citizenship in a global and diverse society’.”
The Dyson Foundation is a private, family-directed, grant-making foundation. Established in 1957, it is led by Robert R. Dyson, who has served as its president since 2000. The foundation awards grants throughout New York’s Dutchess County and Mid-Hudson Valley, as well outside the Hudson Valley.
Chris Dyson is vice president and sporting director of Dyson Racing, a professional racing team based in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., and he has won two series Drivers’ championships in the IMSA American Le Mans Series.
The Dyson Foundation has previously supported the University’s Spring Term curriculum and other initiatives.
As a facility, the Center for Global Learning will consist of 8,600 square feet in the renovated duPont Hall and an estimated 17,700 square feet in a new wing. Renovating and expanding duPont Hall and its surrounding space will position the center at a prominent campus location, at the northern end of Stemmons Plaza.
The combined space will contain 12 teaching spaces, including classrooms, a seminar room and instructional laboratories. The entry to the new wing will include a two-story atrium that will convey to visitors the purpose and importance of the center.
The Center for Global Learning will include state-of-the-art technology, and its design will respect and complement the character of duPont Hall and the entire historic campus.
The facility will serve as the cornerstone of a comprehensive program and as an important physical focal point for W&L’s globalization initiative. The center will draw together students and faculty from across departments, elevating broader viewpoints and driving and informing an integrated vision of global learning for the whole campus.
“The Center for Global Learning will combine architecture, technology, design and programming in a global marketplace of ideas that will distinguish Washington and Lee among its peers,” said Laurent Boetsch, director of international education. “More than a destination, the center will be a campus hub and will, as W&L’s window on the world, showcase interdisciplinary approaches to global learning as cross-cultural knowledge, encompassing both domestic and foreign issues. The transformation of duPont Hall into the Center for Global Learning is inspired primarily by the University’s intention to integrate global learning into the education of all W&L students.”
The construction of the center will commence when fund-raising is complete. It is projected to cost $13.5 million; the fund-raising goal is a minimum of $11.5 million.
Jeffery G. Hanna
Executive Director of Communications and Public Affairs