Leavey Foundation Commits up to $2 Million to Center for Health Sciences

December 9, 2010

TACOMA, Wash. – University of Puget Sound is pleased to announce a commitment of up to $2 million from the Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Foundation in support of a new Center for Health Sciences for study, research, and clinical practice in occupational and physical therapy, exercise science, psychology, and neuroscience. The generous pledge is being made public as construction work on the new interdisciplinary center moves rapidly toward the fall 2011 official opening of the building.

In addition to an outright gift of $1 million, the foundation has pledged an additional $1 million in the form of a matching challenge. Under the terms of the challenge, the Leavey Foundation will match—dollar for dollar—every new gift made to the center, totaling up to $1 million. With the successful completion of the challenge, the university will attain its $18 million fundraising target for the center.

The first spade of earth was turned in May 2010 at a ceremony attended by donors, trustees, campus members, and friends of the university. Leavey Foundation trustee and Puget Sound board of trustees member Kathleen Duncan ’82 (pictured left) joined the ceremony, which marked the beginning of a new era of health sciences learning, teaching, care, and research at Puget Sound.

“This generous commitment from the Leavey Foundation is a testament to the value that the Center for Health Sciences will bring to the study of the health and behavioral sciences, and to the impact it will have in our local community and beyond,” said Puget Sound President Ronald R. Thomas. “We are grateful for this significant contribution and for the many pledges that it will inspire as we work to complete construction of this unique center for scholarship, research, and healing.”

The Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Foundation, based in Los Angeles, Calif., primarily focuses on religious, health care, social service, and cultural issues, 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.

Work on the 42,500-square-foot Center for Health Sciences is expected to be complete in time for a grand opening near the beginning of the 2011–12 academic year. The building 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 house the undergraduate departments of exercise science and psychology, and graduate programs in occupational and physical therapy. In addition it will be home to a new interdisciplinary neuroscience program, directed by an endowed chair in that field. The university's occupational and physical therapy clinics, which provide free health care services to more than 300 referred patients annually, will also operate from the center.

Designed by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson of Seattle, the center will be built to meet the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards, using sustainable materials and adhering to stringent environmental guidelines. Peter Bohlin, the principal architect and designer for the project, was awarded the 2010 Gold Medal from the American Institute of Architects, the organization’s highest honor.

Other generous donors to the Center for Health Sciences have included Carl and Renee Behnke, the Ben B. Cheney Foundation, Eric and Hollis Dillon ’84, J.D.’88, Robert and Rebecca Pohlad P’07 and the Pohlad Family Foundation, Guy ’75, M.B.A.’76 and Audrey Watanabe, the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust, The Norcliffe Foundation, and the Titus-Will Families Foundation.

Press-quality photos of the Center for Health Sciences can be downloaded from: Press Photos - University of Puget Sound.

Photos above: Top right: Center wrapped as work continues, Nov. 2010; Above: Topping off ceremony and watchers, June 2010. All photos by Ross Mulhausen, University of Puget Sound.

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