Oglethorpe has announced plans for the I.W. “Ike” Cousins Center for Science and Innovation, scheduled to break ground in spring 2018 and open in 2019. The building is named in honor of 1927 Oglethorpe alumnus Ike Cousins, a science major and three-sport letterman, and in recognition of a generous gift from the Cousins Foundation in Atlanta.
Oglethorpe will completely renovate the 20,000-square-foot Goslin Hall, which currently houses the sciences. A new modern, light- filled 25,000-square-foot addition will encompass the existing space, creating a completely reimagined 45,000-square-foot facility, featuring innovation and design-thinking spaces.
The Cousins Center for Science and Innovation will offer discipline-specific laboratory-classrooms (Physics, Biology, and Chemistry, with smaller and separate specialty labs for each), independent study labs, open study rooms, workshops, and faculty offices. Laboratories and classrooms will merge, providing teaching space that is conducive to the melding of theory and practice.
The building’s fundraising campaign, currently in its initial phases, is co-chaired by alumni Tim Tassopoulos ’81, president of Chick-fil-A, and Cameron Bready ’94, chief financial officer of Global Payments, and Ceree Eberly, chief people officer at The Coca-Cola Company.
The Cousins family has a long history of involvement and support in Atlanta and at Oglethorpe University—a relationship that has grown and thrived through Ike’s son, Tom Cousins. Mr. Cousins, a legendary real estate and philanthropic leader in Atlanta, founded the East Lake Foundation, which helped to revitalize Atlanta’s East Lake neighborhood.
“My grandfather, I.W. ‘Ike’ Cousins was a proud 1927 graduate,” said Lillian Giornelli, CEO of the Cousins Foundation and daughter of Tom and Anne Cousins. “He was a science major and three-sport letterman.
But, what started as giving in honor of Tom’s father has transformed into a long-term investment into Oglethorpe, an institution the Cousins believe is making an important impact through efforts like the Center for Civic Engagement, and now this building.
“In addition to that personal family history, under Larry Schall’s leadership, the university has been an important partner in the work we are doing in the East Lake community,” said Giornelli. “Oglethorpe students mentor at Drew Charter School, they host Drew students for college experience days, and President Schall serves as chair of the East Lake Foundation board. We are delighted to play a lead role in this next phase of Oglethorpe’s continued growth in memory of Ike Cousins and in honor of the leadership of President Schall.”
“It’s recognition not only for (their) gift but for (the Cousins Foundation’s) giving over the past decade,” Schall says of the Center’s newly announced name. “On the heels of the largest effort we have undertaken, and we’re halfway there thanks to trustees and friends like the Cousins,” he said. Oglethorpe recently completed the largest campaign in its history in support of the award-winning Turner Lynch Campus Center, surpassing its goal two years early.
“Our goal has been to be an important institution to Atlanta,” said President Schall. “As Oglethorpe has become more and more successful in being an important citizen to Atlanta, the community has responded.”
Progress on Oglethorpe University Campus, including the I.W. “Ike” Cousins Center for Science and Innovation
“The number one reason for this project is the students. Our students deserve this Center. They will get space that is inviting them in, that will be open, that they can see students from all different kinds of disciplines.” – Dr. Glenn Sharfman, Provost & Vice President for Academic Affairs
“Our job is to make sure the students’ foundational work is solid. They know how to ask a question. They know how to plan an experiment. They know how to do it from start to finish. In a place that’s safe; in a place that’s exciting; in a place that’s welcoming.” – Dr. Karen Schmeichel, Assistant Professor of Biology (Division Chair)