Grant Cornwell, Doon and John Foster

President Grant Cornwell, Doon Foster '80, and John Foster


Doon and John Foster announce $2 million gift toward new science facility

Total commitments for project reach $14.3 million

27 October, 2014 by John Hopkins

WOOSTER, Ohio – Doon Allen Foster, a member of The College of Wooster's board of trustees, and her husband, John, will give $2 million to support the construction of a new integrated science facility at the college. The couple announced their commitment at the board's fall meeting on Saturday.

In true Wooster fashion, the news was heralded by a piper, who marched into Lean Lecture Room, where the board meeting was taking place, playing "Scotland the Brave." Trustee and campaign chair Blake Moore presented the Fosters with personalized lab coats, trimmed with MacLeod tartan and signed by students, faculty, and staff in the life sciences.

To date, the college has raised a total of $14.3 million for the new facility. Three architectural firms that hope to design the new facility, the finalists in a process that began in March, made presentations to the board on Saturday. The college expects to announce which firm has been selected within the next several weeks.

Doon Foster earned her bachelor's degree in speech from Wooster in 1980. She and her husband, a managing director of NGP Energy Capital Management who attended Wooster during 1979, recognize both the critical role of science in society and Wooster's historic strength in the sciences.

"It is clear to us," she said, "that this initiative is critically important to Wooster, and that makes it important to us. John and I are excited about the faculty's vision for this facility and we're happy to be able to play a part in helping to achieve that vision."

"I am tremendously grateful to Doon and John for this investment in Wooster's future, and most importantly, in the future success of our students," said Grant Cornwell, Wooster's president. "This college is a very special place, with an important role to play in the world, and it is the support of people like Doon and John that makes it all possible."

The project will involve a combination of new construction, renovation, and connecting those new and renovated facilities into an integrated life sciences complex. The college anticipates beginning the formal design process in January 2015, and hopes to break ground 18 months later, in June 2016.

The College of Wooster is America's premier college for mentored undergraduate research. Wooster offers an excellent, comprehensive liberal arts education, culminating in a rigorous senior project, in which each student works one-on-one with a faculty mentor to conceive, organize and complete a significant research project on a topic of the student's own choosing. Through this distinctive program, every Wooster student develops abilities valued by employers and graduate schools alike: independent judgment, analytical ability, creativity, project-management and time-management skills, and strong written and oral communication skills. Founded in 1866, the college enrolls approximately 2,000 students.