Lawmakers approve College and Careers project, major renovations

CAS interim Dean W. Andrew Marcus, Don Tykeson, Vice President for Student Life Robin Holmes (seated, from left) and Willie Tykeson

The Oregon Legislature has approved funding for several capital construction projects at the University of Oregon that will help propel academic and research excellence and launch students on their career paths.

During the recently concluded 2015 Oregon legislative session, lawmakers committed $37 million toward three UO projects: construction of the new College and Careers Building and significant renovations to Klamath and Chapman halls. Legislators also increased state funding for the state’s seven public universities.

The College and Careers Building was awarded $17 million in matching funds to create a new home for the College of Arts and Sciences and the Career Center. The 50,000-square-foot building will also have classroom and office space and will free up space in other UO buildings that will be renovated to modern standards.

More than 60 percent of UO graduates earn degrees from the College of Arts and Sciences in 46 undergraduate programs, making it a hub of activity for future generations of Ducks.  

UO President Michael Schill said the College and Careers Building will help students engage with the faculty and gain knowledge that is the foundation of a liberal arts education.

“The College and Careers Building will be a centerpiece of campus where students connect in meaningful ways and prepare to make their mark on the world,” Schill said. “I look forward to meeting with our alumni and other supporters who share my enthusiasm for helping students reach their full potential and to hearing how their lives have been transformed by their experience at the UO.”

To learn more, see a video interview with Andrew Marcus, interim Tykeson Dean of Arts and Sciences (https://youtu.be/BEW1KQ1Ug00) and a slideshow at http://giving.uoregon.edu/cac.

Philanthropists Willie and Don Tykeson transformed this ambitious idea into reality with a $10 million lead gift last September. For Don Tykeson, a 1951 UO graduate, the building reflects his values. After finishing his business requirements early, he took a wide range of arts and sciences classes. It’s an experience he’s treasured ever since.

“You’re on this planet to enjoy, contribute, make a difference, lead a fulfilling life and have fun along the way,” Tykeson said when the gift was announced. “I think a liberal arts education helps equip you very well for that.”

Following the Tykeson family’s lead, 15 donors have pledged an additional $1.12 million to the project, which is estimated to be completed by late 2018.

The UO’s other capital construction projects that received legislative approval will greatly improve the research facilities and ability to expand programs for the best and brightest students on campus.

The Klamath Hall project received $12 million to convert the third-floor lab space into state-of-the-art chemistry labs and build a new fourth floor for faculty and student offices, a large classroom and conference rooms.

The Chapman Hall project received $8 million for a major renovation for the home of the Clark Honors College.