The J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation announced a gift of $2 million to the Idaho State University College of Technology capital campaign that will be used for the renovation of the ISU William M. and Karin A. Eames Advanced Technical Education and Innovations Complex.
The announcement was made Thursday, Dec. 13, at the Eames Complex by Roger Quarles, executive director of the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation.
“We applaud the ISU College of Technology leadership and commitment to providing certificates, credentials, and degrees that lead to meaningful employment opportunities for its graduates,” Quarles said. “The foundation believes that ISU’s and College of Technology’s commitment to expanding these types of educational opportunities will pay big dividends to our state.”
He said their foundation is impressed by the College of Technology’s Successful Transitions and Retention Track (START) program. Quarles also went on to say that ISU’s business advisory support, job placement success and its approach to delivering a relevant post-secondary experience that leads to livable wage jobs is commendable.
“On behalf of Idaho State University and students whose lives will be improved by this investment, I extend a sincere and emphatic thank you to the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation,” President Kevin Satterlee said. “We are very excited by the foundation’s decision to invest in the future of our students and for their faith and confidence in ISU. We believe in investing in the strengths of an institution, and this gift does exactly that. ISU’s College of Technology is truly serving this state and this region by educating students in fields of high demand and helping to ensure they are employed upon graduation. With the generous support of the foundation, we will be able to take these efforts to new heights.”
In February 2017, ISU announced plans approved by the State Board of Education to relocate a number of College of Technology programs into the 150,000-square-foot Eames Complex to meet a growing enrollment. The University plans to make it the premier center for technical education in Idaho and to continue its role as a state-of-the-art research facility.
The complex, located in the ISU Business and Research Park, is named after William M. and Karin A. Eames, longtime College of Technology and ISU supporters, and $2.5-million donors to this facility. With this move, programs that are currently located on various parts of the ISU campus will now be in one location. Research opportunities continue at the Eames Complex housing state-of-the-art ISU Office of Research facilities, including the Center for Archaeology, Materials and Applied Spectroscopy.
The total cost of fully renovating the facility and moving programs is estimated to be about $22 million. Renovations began in June 2017 and are ongoing.
“There's never been a time in our history quite like this one,” said Scott Rasmussen, dean of the College of Technology. “We are embarking on a new era in the College of Technology. This gift from the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation will be a monumental step forward. As we make our move into the William M. and Karin A. Eames Advanced Technical Education and Innovations Complex, it is a time for great optimism and the opportunity to make a difference in our students' lives right now.”
College of Technology programs that will initially be moved to the complex include automotive collision repair and refinishing, computerized machining technology, automotive technology, diesel/on-site power generation technology, computer-aided design drafting technology, and welding.
The START program referred to by Quarles is a free program with a recognized track record for helping students achieve their academic goals. START provides academic support, counseling and mentoring as students manage barriers while they pursue sustainable career and life goals. START was initially made possible through support from the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation Continuous Enrollment Initiative, and it has been sustained through funding by ISU.