FORT COLLINS -- Colorado State University announced it has received a $53.3 million gift, the largest in the University’s history, from business icon Walter Scott, Jr. of Omaha, Neb.
The commitment will provide wide-reaching support for student scholarships, faculty excellence and research, CSU said.
In recognition of this monumental gift, the College of Engineering will be renamed the Walter Scott, Jr. College of Engineering, becoming the only named college of engineering in Colorado. It is the second of CSU’s eight colleges to be named for a prominent alumnus. In 2005, the Warner College of Natural Resources was named for Edward M. Warner.
“We are humbled and incredibly grateful for this remarkable gift from Walter Scott,” said CSU President Tony Frank.
“Walter has been a passionate and generous supporter of CSU since he graduated more than 60 years ago, and this gift is truly transformational. It will allow the Walter Scott, Jr. College of Engineering to attract and support the finest faculty and students for years to come. This truly is a great, great day in our University’s history.”
Scott graduated in 1953 from CSU, then known as Colorado A&M, with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, embarking on a long career with contracting giant Peter Kiewit Sons’, Inc.
Scott’s long history of support to the University and its College of Engineering has significantly impacted student experiences, programs, research and infrastructure. With his late wife, Suzanne, he provided a leadership gift for the Suzanne and Walter Scott, Jr. Bioengineering Building, completed in 2015. It is home to more than 30 faculty and 120 graduate students conducting research on global challenges related to water, energy, health and the environment.
By significantly expanding a previous gift that established the Walter Scott, Jr. Scholarship Program, the new donation will provide renewable merit scholarships for up to 80 undergraduates, and fellowships for up to 30 graduate students, with outstanding academic qualifications.
“As we get older, I think it’s natural to think about the generations that will follow,” said Scott. “And in a technological age, it’s important that our top students have the opportunity to study at strong research universities.”
Scott also noted the connection between the University and the company he once led. Kiewit, which has its Colorado offices in Englewood, employs more than 100 CSU alumni.
“CSU has long been near the top in the number of students the company hires each year,” Scott said. “Helping young people with their education is one of the finest investments we can possibly make as a society, and I’m always pleased to see so many of the University’s students choose to start their careers at Kiewit.”
An additional part of the gift is designed to attract world-class faculty through the creation of four Presidential Chairs in water, health, energy and environment – the College’s four “areas of excellence” – and will provide the infrastructure and labs to drive teaching and research excellence.
Scott’s gift also affords discretionary funds to be invested in strategic initiatives and creation of leadership programs supporting innovation and excellence across the college.
“This amazing gift from Walter Scott will transform the College of Engineering and equip our faculty and students to achieve new and greater impact on our world,” said Dean David McLean.
“This gift truly allows us to focus on excellence and being one of the best engineering programs in the country. We will be able to attract top students and faculty from around the world, and give them the opportunity to work in a premier facility that Walter and Suzanne helped us build. It will add to our already remarkable legacy of excellence in the college.”
“Walter Scott has been a tremendous partner for CSU over the years – ensuring students have scholarships, and the best faculty, support and facilities available, to succeed,” said Brett Anderson, VP for University Advancement.
“Having the College of Engineering named after such a well-respected and notable alumnus raises its prominence and shines a spotlight on this incredible college and Colorado State University. We cannot thank Walter enough for his trust, commitment, and investment in our future.”