American professional furniture maker Haworth has pledged a gift of USD 3 million to Clemson University’s Watt Family Innovation Center now under construction in the centre of campus.
The partnership between Clemson and Haworth is a comprehensive engagement in collaborative research activities, product use and demonstration, and philanthropic support, university officials said.
The gift from Haworth includes USD 800,000 in research funding and a USD 2.2 million gift-in-kind of interior products.
“We are thrilled that Haworth is our first Founding Innovation Partner in the new Watt Center,” Clemson President James P. Clements said.
Franco Bianchi, who has led Haworth as president and CEO since 2005, visited Clemson University in November 2013 and has a strong relationship with Watt Center director Charles Watt, university officials said.
“At Haworth, we value continuous education and the innovative schools and programs in our communities that never stop exploring and teaching. Haworth is proud to support Clemson,” Bianchi said.
The Haworth corporate gift is part of The Will to Lead capital campaign to raise USD 1 billion to support Clemson students and faculty with scholarships, professorships, facilities, technology and enhanced opportunities for learning and research.
University officials broke ground in late March to begin construction of the four-story, 70,000-square-foot (6,503-square-meter) centre.
Designed to foster innovation and interdisciplinary education and research activities, the Watt Center will be near the R.M. Cooper Library. Expected occupancy is spring 2016.
The centre will house large classrooms for Clemson’s freshman engineering students as well as a high bay area, an academic resources centre, technology demonstration areas, meeting rooms and space designated for undergraduate research activities.
The centre is designed to promote student engagement, interactive learning and partnership with industry and government, officials said.