Texas State University has received a major boost in its effort to build a badly needed new building to accommodate burgeoning growth at the Ingram School of Engineering.
The boost comes in the form of two pledges – and from a family with longtime ties to the university.
The first, a pledge of $5 million from Bruce and Gloria Ingram, would be used for constructing and equipping research facilities at the proposed Engineering and Sciences Building at Texas State. The second, an in-kind gift pledge from Ingram Readymix, Inc., is approximately 20,000 cubic yards of concrete valued at $2.1 million for the construction of the same building. Both pledges are contingent upon the university receiving funding from the 84th Texas Legislature for the proposed building.
"We are deeply moved by the generosity of the Ingram family and its desire to help the university with this critical need," said Texas State President Denise M. Trauth. “The Ingrams have an extraordinary record of giving to Texas State, and these latest pledges further demonstrate their commitment to bringing excellence to this university.
Trauth noted that legislators increasingly are viewing new buildings at public higher education institutions as a shared financial responsibility, and that universities must be prepared to raise funds to help offset costs of new construction.
"These pledges help demonstrate to the Legislature that we have serious ‘skin in the game’ when it comes to getting this building constructed," Trauth said.
The university already has spent about $2.5 million to extend utility infrastructure in support of the proposed building, Trauth added.
Texas State’s Ingram School of Engineering has grown from 62 students a decade ago to 840 students this year. Additionally, the school is set to launch a master’s degree in engineering this fall and wants to add an undergraduate program in civil and environmental engineering. Plans for adding the undergraduate program have been stalled because of space limitations, and without new facilities the existing engineering programs will be forced to cap enrollment within two years, said Eugene Bourgeois, Texas State’s provost and vice president for academic affairs.
The proposed Engineering and Sciences Building is one of two high-priority space needs for Texas State. The other is a new health professions building for the university’s Round Rock Campus. The proposed Engineering and Sciences building would exceed 122,000 square feet and house the Materials Science, Engineering and Commercialization Program; Civil and Environmental Engineering; and other programs within the Ingram School of Engineering. It would also house part of the Department of Biology.
The $5 million pledge could be eligible for a state match under the Texas Research Incentive Program (TRIP). Under TRIP guidelines, cash gifts of $2 million to $10 million to Emerging Research Universities – such as Texas State – are eligible for a 100 percent match if they are used to support graduate education and research.
Texas State's Ingram School of Engineering, along with the Bruce and Gloria Ingram Chair in Engineering, two endowed professorships and need- and merit-based scholarship programs, were established in 2006 with a $5 million gift from the Ingrams.
Since then, the Ingrams have given an additional $4 million to further boost scholarship opportunities for engineering students.