Salt River Project has announced a contribution of $100,000 a year for five years to support the University of Arizona’s College of Engineering, College of Medicine – Phoenix, College of Science and Eller College of Management.
The contribution will directly fund UA programs that impact the Phoenix metropolitan area as part of SRP’s support for public education, said SRP President David Rousseau.
“An educated, well-trained work force is essential for our business needs and our state's economic vitality,” Rousseau said. “With these funds, the university will offer substantial programs that will benefit our community and SRP operations.”
James Moore, president and CEO of the University of Arizona Foundation, said, “We are deeply appreciative of our long-standing and ongoing association with Salt River Project. SRP is a tremendous corporate citizen and we are grateful for all they do in support of the University of Arizona.”
Funds for the College of Engineering will be used to deliver an engineering course to high-school students at nine schools in the greater Phoenix area where students will be exposed to the field of engineering and earn college credit for their work. The program will give Arizona students – who may one day be a part of SRP’s future work force – a better understanding of the engineering field and increase the number of students who are pursing engineering majors, which is one of the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields.
“This generous gift will enable us to expand our current ENGR 102 in High School program, which will give more students the option of taking a college-level engineering class in high school,” said Jeff Goldberg, dean of the College of Engineering. “We already know that students who might not explore engineering on a college campus will try the class in high school because they know the teacher and are familiar with the class environment. A successful and well-funded engineering class will lead to increased enrollment in high-school math and science and this, in turn, will lead to an increase in STEM graduates.”
The donation to the College of Medicine – Phoenix, which will be matched by the Virginia G. Piper Trust, will create an endowed professorship to support the teaching and research activities needed to develop interdisciplinary training of physicians with other health professionals. The gift will enable the college to increase the number of doctors and health care professionals in the Phoenix area, which faces a shortage of physicians.
“Having SRP recognize the important work of the UA College of Medicine - Phoenix is so valuable for our future success,” said Dr. Stuart D. Flynn, dean of the College of Medicine – Phoenix. “The Valley of the Sun Endowed Professorship created with this donation will create a legacy of support. With the opportunity to match previously donated Virginia G. Piper Trust funds, SRP will play a vital role in producing much-needed and well-trained physicians for Arizona.”
University of Arizona President Robert N. Shelton said he is grateful for SRP’s commitment to the College of Medicine – Phoenix as well as the other areas SRP is supporting. “It is absolutely wonderful to see the Salt River Project and the Virginia G. Piper Trust coming together to establish this important professorship, allowing us to develop the best and brightest minds in medicine for our state,” Shelton said.
The College of Science will utilize the funds to support a program in applied hydroclimatology for a tree-ring study to map out sustainable water management practices. SRP will be involved in collaborative planning to study flows on the Salt-Verde Basin and develop a model to more accurately predict seasonal precipitation impact on the watershed.
“Salt River Project has been a friend of the tree-ring lab and hydroclimatology for many years, and we truly value that relationship,” said Joaquin Ruiz, dean of the College of Science. “SRP was supportive of some of our previous work on this topic, and this generous new support will enable our scientists to continue their work. Specifically, it will aid us in working with water managers to provide information that is useful and relevant for water resource management in Arizona.”
The Eller College of Management funding will support a graduate level course that will expand the college’s study of renewable energy sources and develop the skills needed for students to critically examine the impact of these proposed solutions from both an environmental and financial standpoint.
“Increasingly, business students want not only to make a good living for themselves, but to do so in a way that makes society better off, too,” said Eller College Dean Paul Portney. “This timely and generous grant from SRP will help us show students when such things as renewable energy or water conservation can form the basis for a going business concern.
Salt River Project