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Fowler family donates $1.25 million to SIUE Student Design Center

fowlerdonationThe Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Engineering has announced its receipt of the largest single cash investment in the school’s  history, a $1.25 million gift from the Fowler family, which in combination with other contributions, will allow for the completion of its state-of-the-art Student Design Center.

After receiving SIU board of trustees approval on Thursday, Sept. 13, the innovation hub has been named the Fowler Student Design Center.

“SIUE is important to our family, and we are proud to support it in any way we can,” said Jonathan Fowler, vice president of Edwardsville-based J. F. Electric, who earned a bachelor’s in electrical engineering in 2010. “The Fowler Student Design Center improves the educational environment for all SIUE School of Engineering students, providing the space and resources they need to become successful technological leaders with vital communication, leadership and team-building skills.”

The Fowler family is a longtime supporter of the School of Engineering, witnessing its rapid advancement as a premier educational institution, as well as the university’s growth as a regional destination.

Greg Fowler, President and Chief Executive Officer of J.F. Electric has been involved in numerous building projects at SIUE, including the construction of Birger Hall. Along with his son Jonathan, his daughter Mandy Fowler is also an SIUE alumnus, having earned a bachelor’s in business administration in 2014. Mandy is operations coordinator at Donco, LLC, in Edwardsville.

“The SIUE School of Engineering is grateful to the Fowler Family for their tremendous support. Their incredible contribution is one of the largest private gifts ever made to the University,” said SOE Dean Cem Karacal, PhD. “Our students are already known for their theoretical and applied engineering knowledge. The Fowler Student Design Center will provide them further opportunities for experiential learning.”
The Fowler Student Design Center provides much-needed space for students involved in senior design projects, collegiate competition teams, clubs and organizations. The two-story, 14,000-square-foot addition to the School of Engineering Building includes design team workspaces, design labs and an engineer’s alley to showcase projects.

SIUE School of Engineering students compete at a national level against some of the most respected engineering schools in the country,” said Jonathan Fowler. “Now, they have the space to work on projects with little to no limitations.”

“This generous gift is a perfect example of industry and academia joining forces to advance the region through this state-of-the-art learning center,” Karacal said.

“We need to provide the best accommodations for the students who will eventually be leaders in this area,” Fowler added. “So many graduates stay in the region and become part of the local culture. We need to join together and do everything we can to help SIUE continue attracting, preparing and graduating quality community members.”

The Fowler family annually presents the James C. Fowler Scholarship to deserving students in the SOE and in the SIUE School of Business. Jonathan Fowler serves on the SOE’s Advisory Board and spoke at the SIUE Day Community Breakfast in 2017.

The SIUE School of Engineering offers one of the most comprehensive and affordable engineering programs in the St. Louis region with eight undergraduate degrees, five master’s degrees and a cooperative doctoral program. Students learn from expert faculty, perform cutting-edge research, and participate in intercollegiate design competitions. Companies in the metropolitan St. Louis area provide students challenging internships and co-op opportunities which often turn into permanent employment. Students gain hands-on experience in the school’s state-of-the-art facilities, including the brand-new Fowler Student Design Center.

PHOTO: The Fowler Family has presented the SIUE School of Engineering with $1.25 million for the completion of the Fowler Student Design Center, from left, Jonathan, Mandy, Jim and Greg Fowler.


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