A $500,000 gift from Colorado dairy operator brothers Dick and Eddie Robinson of Robinson Diary of Denver will help recipient Colorado State University renovate its Animal Sciences building on the Fort Collins campus.
The donation is the largest yet in CSU's $13.4 million project to overhaul the 56-year-old building housing the Department of Animal Sciences offices, labs and classrooms.
Dick and Eddie Robinson graduated from CSU and assumed management of their family's business as the fourth generation.
"We are both graduates in animal sciences, and the school did a lot for us," says Dick. "It gave us good opportunities and a start in running our family business."
In December, 2011, the CSU board of governors set the stage for building upgrades $7.5 million in bond distribution, leaving another $6 million to be found by the university among private donations. Funds today have reached a half-way point, reports Kevin Pond, DAS chief.
The Robinson donation is "a very important lead gift," says Pond. "We really appreciate that they've stepped forward to transform facilities that are integral to our teaching and research. Our modernized facilities will help us attract and retain talented students and faculty, and are critical to preparing students for challenges ahead in animal agriculture."
In January, 70 grad students, faculty and staff moved from the old building and into temporary offices. Renovation of the building is expected to be completed in 2014.
The project is expected to provide high tech labs and classrooms featuring an atrium and airy gathering space, as well as a conference room named for the Robinsons.
The upgrade will provide a 42,000-square-foot structure to showcase the largest department in CSU's College of Agricultural Sciences, a division with 800 students and programs in equine, meat and farm animal welfare studies.
Robinson says he hopes that the gift will encourage others to donate and invigorate CSU's ag programs.