$6 million gift to ISU from Boeing will help fund Innovation Center

Iowa State University has received a $6 million commitment from Boeing that will help finance the university’s Student Innovation Center and support undergraduate engineering students interested in doing research.

A large portion of Boeing’s gift will support the construction of the Student Innovation Center, that will serve as a hub on campus for hands-on projects where students can collaborate across a wide range of disciplines.

With construction funded through the Iowa legislature and private support, the Student Innovation Center will be a flagship facility elevating Iowa State’s commitment to interdisciplinary, experiential learning.

The 140,000-square-foot building is scheduled to open in spring 2020. Nearly half of the funding necessary for the $84 million project will come from state appropriations, with the remainder of the balance made up of private giving, according to a January university news release.

Students from all of Iowa State’s undergraduate colleges will be able to use the Student Innovation Center, which will provide space for individual and group activities and capstone projects, and for classes and student clubs involved in hands-on learning.

“The foresight Boeing has shown through its long-standing support of hands-on collaborative learning environments across campus and educational opportunities beyond the classroom is a testament to its innovative focus as a company and its commitment to ensuring engineering students are well-prepared for early success in their careers,” said Sarah A. Rajala, James L. and Katherine S. Melsa Dean of Engineering at Iowa State University, in an announcement.

In addition, part of Boeing’s $6 million commitment will provide financial support for engineering students seeking to broaden and enhance their educational experience by participating in undergraduate research.