University of Puget Sound announced today that it has received a $3.5 million commitment from Robert and Rebecca Pohlad and the Pohlad Family Foundation of Edina, Minn., toward the design and construction of a new Center for Health Sciences.
“We deeply appreciate the vision and generosity of spirit behind this magnificent gift and behind all that Robert and Rebecca and the entire Pohlad family have contributed to our campus, our students, and our future,” said President Ronald R. Thomas. “The Center for Health Sciences will bring under one roof new opportunities for interdisciplinary study, research, and clinical work, a combination not seen at any other liberal arts college in the nation. It will be a place where big ideas about the mind and body blend with the giving of individual care and healing, with benefits that will flow well beyond the borders of our campus.”
The Center for Health Sciences is the centerpiece of Puget Sound's 20-year master plan for campus development and lies at the core of the academic strategic plan. The facility will provide the venue for four current areas of study and research: the undergraduate departments of exercise science and psychology, and graduate programs in occupational and physical therapy. In addition it will house the new interdisciplinary neuroscience program, to be directed by a recently funded endowed chair in that field. The university's occupational and physical therapy clinics, which provide free health care services to more than 300 patients annually, will also operate from the center.
“Becky and I consider it a privilege to be a part, along with many others, of building upon what is already a unique and excellent school,” Robert Pohlad said. “The Center for Health Sciences will further strengthen Puget Sound as one of the truly excellent liberal arts colleges.”
The new building is being designed by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson of Seattle. Construction is expected to begin in spring 2010. The facility will be located at the south end of campus, along N. 11th Street, with convenient access for clinic patients who are served by students in the occupational and physical therapy programs. Combined with the Commencement Walk landscape element in the university's master plan, the new center will tie together the north and south sections of campus, while complementing the Tudor-Gothic architectural style that prevails at Puget Sound.
Robert Pohlad is a trustee of the board of University of Puget Sound and a member of the Dean’s Board of Visitors of the University of Minnesota Medical School. He is chairman and chief executive at PepsiAmericas Inc. and a director of the Pohlad Family Foundation. He is also a member of the executive board of the family-owned Minnesota Twins baseball team. From 2001 to 2006, Pohald served as a trustee of the Breck School, a Minneapolis-based college preparatory day school that enrolls students of diverse backgrounds.
Rebecca Pohlad is a trustee of the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. She has served as a director of the Minnesota Orchestral Association, co-chair of several fundraising campaigns at the Breck School, and as a director of the Hope Chest for Breast Cancer at Abbott Northwestern Hospital Foundation. She has also served, with Robert, as a fundraising chair for the Minnesota Zoo. The Pohlad’s son, Christopher, graduated from Puget Sound with a major in politics and government in 2007. Christopher Pohlad currently lives in Washington, D.C., and is on the staff of senior U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar from Minnesota.
The Pohlad Family Foundation, established in 1994 by Robert’s parents, Carl and Eloise Pohlad, and currently directed by Robert and his two brothers, supports youth causes and those who help the disadvantaged. The foundation also strives to improve the quality of life in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area.
Press-quality photos of Robert Pohlad are available on request.