Leavey Foundation $2 Million Gift Toward Welcome Center

February 28, 2018

University of Puget Sound’s new home for admission staff
 will welcome visiting students and families

TACOMA, Wash. – The Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Foundation has made a gift of $1 million toward the construction of a new Welcome Center to receive prospective students, their families, and other visitors at University of Puget Sound.

The generous gift supports the college’s long-standing aim of providing a visually inspiring space to welcome the 5,000 visitors who come to campus each year as part of their college search. In addition the foundation has pledged another $1 million that will be released in the form of a “waterfall grant” if the university reaches $6.5 million in documented commitments toward its fundraising goal of $7.5 million by the autumn of 2018.

“First impressions count, as we all know, and with the help of this gift, future campus visitors will enjoy the warm and authentic welcome that is so much a part of our college culture and so characteristic of our community in the Pacific Northwest,” President Isiaah Crawford said. “We are enormously grateful for the vision and generosity of this gift from our longtime friend and supporter, the Leavey Foundation.”

The construction of the Welcome Center at the main entrance to campus is the next major initiative in Puget Sound’s Tapestry of Learning master plan, which has guided the creation of nearly a dozen major facilities since it was conceived in 2003–04. Three of those projects received funding from the Leavey Foundation.

The 13,565-square-foot, two-story building will provide a contemporary and high-functioning home for the Office of Admission, and will serve as a valuable addition to campus during a competitive time in higher education. The facility also will provide space for campus and community gatherings after office hours. Surveys show that admitted students who have visited campus are six times more likely to enroll. The new center will encourage and enhance such visits, and provide a larger and more inviting space than the current admission rooms and hallways located within Jones Hall.

Slated for completion in the fall of 2019, the center will stand at the corner of N. Alder Street and N. 15th Street. It will be built with traditional campus materials—brick, stone, and terracotta roof tile—and feature Puget Sound’s signature architectural touches: gabled forms and large windows with delicate vertical accents. Visitors will enter a courtyard and then a modern reception area, anchored by a brick fireplace. A presentation room will be in one arm of the building, and offices and interview rooms in another.

“We have enjoyed more than 20 years of partnering with Puget Sound as the college has grown in status nationally and expanded its reach internationally,” said Kathleen McCarthy Duncan ’82, a trustee of the Leavey Foundation and of Puget Sound. “It is with pleasure that we stand by the college once again to help create a Welcome Center that will truly be the window through which visitors first view the beautiful campu

The Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Foundation, based in Los Angeles, Calif., primarily focuses on medical research, hospitals, higher and secondary education, and social service, not only in the United States, but around the world. It was founded in 1952 by Thomas Leavey, co-founder of Farmers Insurance, and continued its mission after his death in 1980 under the leadership of his wife, Dorothy. Dorothy Leavey passed away in 1998 at age 101, after a lifetime of giving that included donations of more than $100 million to the community. The foundation is currently chaired by Kathleen McCarthy, daughter of Dorothy and Thomas Leavey. The Leavey Foundation has been an outstanding supporter of Puget Sound’s master plan, providing funding for the Harned Hall science facility (2006), the William T. and Gail T. Weyerhaeuser Center for Health Sciences (2011), and the Athletics and Aquatics Center (2016).

To learn more and view renderings of the Welcome Center visit: pugetsound.edu/support-puget-sound/what-can-i-support/welcome-center

Press photos of the renderings are available upon request.
Photos on page: Welcome Center renderings. From top right: University entrance at corner of N. Alder Street and N. 15th Street; front view on Alder Street; Back view from N. 15th Street; Side view on N. 15th Street.

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