Roanoke College receives its largest cash donation from alum
SALEM, Va. (AP) — A Roanoke College alumnus is donating $15 million to the Virginia school — its largest-ever cash donation.
The college announced Friday that the gift of Shaun McConnon, a Massachusetts-based cybersecurity expert, will be used to fund a new science centre.
Every student will take at least three classes in the programs housed within the center. According to the release, there will be a third of all campus courses taught in this center.
The 150,000-square-foot (13,935-square-meter) project will combine new construction and renovation of existing spaces, The Roanoke Times reports. Its features — including a 140-seat auditorium, 35 research labs and 12 classrooms — will increase the square footage of classroom and study space by 300%. Teresa Gereaux, spokesperson for
College, stated that one ,865 student is currently enrolled in the private liberal arts school. It was established in 1842, as Virginia Institute near Staunton. Later it moved to Salem.
Gereaux says that the cost of the center and its timeline are still unknown. The school has received $35 million for it, including McConnon’s donation.
The 1966 grad majored in biology and chemistry, and was a member of the track team. He is a member of the school’s trustees and has previously donated $1.7 million to the school.
McConnon was a Honeywell, Data General, and Sun Microsystems employee before he founded and sold high-tech security companies. He stated that he hopes his donation and his story will inspire other alumni to think about how Roanoke College might have influenced their lives and careers. “I felt that at this point in my life, after a rewarding career, I would give back.”