$10 million donation given to help fund West Union project
The donation was given by the Crown family—including Board of Trustees member Paula Hannaway Crown, Trinity '80—and will be used to "create opportunities for social and intellectual interaction" in the renovated union, according to a Duke News press release. The donation comes after Executive Vice President Tallman Trask said the University would be using private philanthropic gifts to help fund the West Union renovations in an interview with The Chronicle March 2.
"A university thrives when it offers inviting spaces for faculty and students to gather and connect in a host of programmed and unprogrammed ways," President Richard Brodhead said in the press release. "This thoughtful gift, at the heart of Duke's campus, is truly a gift for the entire Duke community. We are grateful to the Crown family for their generosity and vision."
Plans for the renovations have gone through a number of iterations over the past year. The remodel is being funded in large part by an $80 million donation that the University received from the Charlotte-based Duke Endowment in 2011—intended to supply funds for renovations to Baldwin Auditorium and Page Auditorium, as well as West Union.
The current plans for the West Union, however, exceed the original allotted amount for all three renovation projects.
Vice President and University Secretary Richard Riddell said the overall projected cost of the West Union renovations is currently $95 million in a previous interview with The Chronicle. The Board of Trustees passed a resolution at their March meeting to release only $40.3 million of the $95 million until funding was reassessed at their next meeting in May.
The remodel of Baldwin totaled $15 million and finished shortly before the start of the 2013-14 academic year. Work on West Union was originally slated to begin after commencement in May 2013, but the Board of Trustees rejected the plans presented to them at their May meeting—renovations totaling more than $100 million, The Chronicle previously reported.
Construction began on West Union July 2013 and is set to finish in Spring 2016. The new union will feature a variety of dining venues, student gathering areas and multipurpose spaces.
The other contributors of the $10 million donation are Paula Crown's husband, Jim Crown, his brother A. Steven Crown and Steven's wife, Nancy Crown. Steven and Nancy Crown are the parents of Keating, Trinity '00, and Connor, Trinity '13.
The extent of the renovations to Page is yet to be seen, but they will be "largely cosmetic," Trask said. He noted that the projects are being partially funded by private, philanthropic gifts to cover the difference between the original $80 million donation and the total cost of West Union and Page renovations.
Danielle Muoio contributed to reporting.