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$1 Million Gift Triples Fundraising Goal for UNH Engineering Equipment Fund

Release Date:
1/18/2012 1:54 PM

Jan. 18, 2012

University of New Haven: Engineering, features

WEST HAVEN, CONN. – An unexpected $1 million gift has tripled the original fundraising goal for an engineering equipment drive at the University of New Haven.

The million dollar gift, from an anonymous alumni donor who has been a longstanding UNH benefactor, pushed the fundraising total of the drive to nearly $1.5 million – nearly a million dollars over the goal set by the UNH Board of Governors when it issued a challenge to alumni, faculty, staff and friends to raise $500,000, which would be matched by the university.

The donor had given $50,000 to the campaign but then provided the additional $1 million. More than 230 donors contributed to the equipment fund, which, with the $500,000 match now totals nearly $2 million.

"We want to ensure that our students receive an outstanding educational experience and are positioned competitively for challenging jobs in today's marketplace when they graduate," said Ronald Harichandran, dean of the Tagliatela College of Engineering. "We are very appreciative to all of our donors for making the purchase of the new equipment possible. They have contributed to the momentum for our ultimate goal of making the Tagliatela College one of the region's finest and most innovative engineering schools."

The Tagliatela College of Engineering, an ABET-accredited college, recently was ranked in the top tier nationwide in U.S. News & World Report's "Best Colleges" issue. It is also one of only 21 colleges and universities nationwide to be selected for the prestigious Kern Entrepreneurship Education Network (KEEN) sponsored by the Kern Family Foundation. As part of its membership, UNH was selected to receive a two-year, $75,000 grant to develop classroom and co-curricular opportunities that foster an entrepreneurial mindset in engineering students.

Enrollment in engineering programs at UNH has increased by 14 percent over the past five years, and applications are up by 30 percent. Plans for the future include the development of specializations in energy, sustainability, forensics and system engineering across several bachelor's degree programs, activities fostering entrepreneurship education in partnership with the College of Business, and the growth and accreditation of the solar product testing laboratory.

The University of New Haven is a private, top-tier comprehensive institution recognized as a national leader in experiential education. Founded in 1920 on the campus of Yale University in cooperation with Northeastern University, UNH moved to its current West Haven campus in 1960. The University provides its students with a unique combination of a solid liberal arts education and real-world, hands-on career and research opportunities. UNH enrolls approximately 6,400, including nearly 1,800 graduate students and more than 4,600 undergraduates – the majority of whom reside in University housing. Through its College of Arts and Sciences, College of Business, Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences, Tagliatela College of Engineering, and University College, UNH offers 75 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. UNH students have access to more than 50 study abroad programs worldwide and its student-athletes compete in 16 varsity sports in the NCAA Division II's highly competitive Northeast-10 Conference.