Richard King Mellon Foundation Awards $7 Million to Seton Hill University

 
Largest Gift in University’s History to Support Campus Expansion Plan
 
April 04, 2013
Author: Molly Robb Shimko, Associate Vice President for Institutional Advancement
 
 
 
 
Seton Hill University Health Sciences Center
 
The Richard King Mellon Foundation has awarded a $7 million grant to Seton Hill University toward the construction costs of a new Health Sciences Center on the University’s main campus. This commitment, along with a $1.5 million gift from The Katherine Mabis McKenna Foundation, a $750,000 gift from an anonymous donor and $3 million from trustees, alumni and friends, supports the Health Sciences Center project, a component of the University’s $75 million plan for campus expansion and renewal.

“With my Seton Hill University Board colleagues, I extend deep gratitude to the Richard King Mellon Foundation for its incredible vote of confidence in our efforts,” said Michele Ridge, board chair. Ridge added, “The Board acknowledges that the Foundation’s gift swings open the gates to a new era of excellence in the sciences at Seton Hill. And, the commitment affirms our decision to proceed with key building and renovation projects simultaneously."

“The gift from the Richard King Mellon Foundation is the largest ever received in Seton Hill’s history,” said JoAnne Boyle, president. “The Health Sciences Center will meet growing demand for our core programs of excellence--particularly in pre-med, physician assistant, biology, chemistry, dietetics and nutrition. This gift, along with those from The Katherine Mabis McKenna Foundation and others will help us meet that demand.”

Christine Mueseler, Seton Hill's vice president for Institutional Advancement added, "The Richard King Mellon Foundation gift singularly enhances the fund-raising momentum for the University's campus expansion and renewal campaign. We are grateful for the Foundation's tremendous investment that fosters confidence in Seton Hill's strategic plan for the future."

Seton Hill has experienced a more than 50 percent increase in health sciences enrollment during the last four years. Michael Poll, Seton Hill’s vice president for Enrollment Management said, “A major factor contributing to that phenomenal growth has been the University’s partnership with Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM). Seton Hill also continues to attract students of the highest caliber to the physician assistant program, which continues to have a wait list for qualified applicants.”

“Seton Hill graduates, especially in the physician assistant and LECOM programs, are filling an important regional healthcare gap,” said Excela Health CEO Robert Rogalski. Seton Hill physician assistant graduates have a first-time pass rate of almost 100 percent on the Physician Assistant National Certification Examination (PANCE).

The 52,000 square-foot Center is designed by architects MacLachlan, Cornelius, Filoni and features a curved three-story glass kiva that will provide energy savings for Seton Hill as it uses the sun as a source of heat and natural light. PJ Dick Corporation will serve as the general contractor for the facility.

Seton Hill’s plan for campus expansion and renewal features new construction and campus facility improvements. Recent completed projects include: the Performing Arts Center in downtown Greensburg; the historic Welty House; renewed on-campus dining facilities; construction of additional parking lots to accommodate Seton Hill’s growing student population; investment in technology initiatives; new turf fields for athletics; renovations to Lynch Science Hall and historic campus buildings.

JoAnne Boyle added, “Aside from the exciting educational plans Seton Hill will implement, we note with deep satisfaction the number of new jobs that have been created as part of the University’s growth. We join our funders in acknowledging the economic benefits of Seton Hill University to downtown Greensburg and indeed our region.”

Michele Ridge said, “Seton Hill looks forward to working with our partners as we collaborate to advance the needs of our students and our community.”