A landmark $20 million gift from Edmund and Beatriz Schweitzer and Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories (SEL) toward the construction of the Voiland College’s new student success building on WSU’s Pullman campus supports the success of the next generation of Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture students.
The Schweitzers and SEL are each contributing $10 million toward the construction and, when complete, the facility will be a central hub where engineering and design students can innovate, collaborate with faculty and each other, and have access to advising, technology, and other activities that are foundational to their success at college and beyond.
In recognition of this transformational contribution from the Schweitzers and SEL, WSU will name the new facility Schweitzer Engineering Hall.
Among the largest private investments in WSU history, this investment represents the single-largest philanthropic commitment received by the Voiland College and signifies an exciting new chapter in a long-standing and successful partnership between SEL and WSU.
In 2017, Washington State University’s power engineering program established the Edmund O. Schweitzer III Chair in Power Apparatus and Systems in the Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture, thanks to gifts totaling $1.5 million from Edmund and Beatriz Schweitzer, and the employee owners of Pullman-based Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories.
The new endowed chair supports WSU’s teaching and research in the fundamentals of power engineering, including electromagnetics, controls, communication theory, high voltage materials and practice, work that is near and dear to the Schweitzers and the employees of SEL.
Thanks in part to the support and advocacy of the Schweitzers and SEL, Voiland College’s School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science has experienced dramatic growth. Annual research expenditures in the school have more than doubled in the past six years, to $7.6 million annually, with about $4 million of that increase in power engineering research. Enrollment in the school has also doubled to more than 1,000 undergraduates and nearly 200 graduates each year.
During the past two years, SEL has hired more than 10 percent of the school’s graduates, more than any other employer. To date, the Schweitzers and SEL have collectively contributed more than $3.6 million to support students, teaching and research across the university.