CEO returns to celebrate opening of new Eaton Hall
Robert J. Eaton returned to his alma mater last month
to help KU celebrate the official opening of the School
of Engineering's new Eaton Hall.
The retired chairman of DaimlerChrysler AG and his
wife Connie gave $5 million to help build the $15 million
facility located at 15th Street and Naismith Drive.
"I'm a believer in giving back, and Connie and
I are very proud of being part of making this building
available for KU and the citizens of Kansas," Eaton
The 80,000-square-foot building consolidates all academic
engineering programs-including the department of electrical
engineering and computer science-into the engineering
complex. Many members of the department had been located
in offices and classrooms far from the main engineering
building, Learned Hall. The facility also includes several
state-of-the-art instructional and computer laboratories,
an atrium and a computing commons for use by all engineering
students. New office space was created for the Engineering
Career Services Center and the school's administrative
offices. Eaton Hall also features the Spahr Engineering
Classroom, a 230-seat multimedia classroom funded by
Charles Spahr and his wife, Mary Jane Bruckmiller Spahr,
of Shaker Heights, Ohio. The Spahrs committed an additional
$6.5 million for the school.
"The expansion of the KU School of Engineering
would not have been possible without the generous assistance
of donors," Chancellor Robert Hemenway said. "Because
construction was entirely funded through private gifts,
KU was able to answer the need for more space and bring
together the programs to foster more collaborative research
and teaching. Gifts from donors have helped KU build
upon vital state support for the school to establish
an exceptional environment for learning and research."
Announced gifts and donors for the project include:
A $5 million commitment from Eaton, e '63, of
Naples, Fla. An Arkansas City native, Eaton is chairman
emeritus of Chrysler Corp. and retired chairman
of DaimlerChrysler AG.
A $4 million gift from the estate of the late
Paul W. and Virginia Miller. The gift from the Millers
was provided through a $10.2 million bequest for
KU announced in 1999.
A $1.5 million gift from Charles and Mary Jane
Bruckmiller Spahr of Shaker Heights, Ohio. Charles,
e '34, is a retired chief executive of Standard
Oil Co. of Ohio. Mary Jane attended KU with the
Class of 1938.
A $1 million commitment from Madison "Al"
and Lila Self of Hinsdale, Ill. Al, e '43, is a
longtime businessman and former owner of Bee Chemical
Co. in Lansing, Ill. Lila attended KU with the Class
A $1 million pledge from Adrienne Zimmerman Adam
of Prairie Village. Adrienne earned a bachelor's
degree in liberal arts in 1933 from the University
of Arizona and was married to Paul J. Adam, b'33.
A gift of $100,000 from P.J. "Jim" Adam
and his wife, Barbara Mills Adam, of Overland Park.
Jim, e '56, is a former chairman and CEO of Kansas
City-based Black & Veatch and is the son of
Adrienne Zimmerman Adam. Barbara attended KU with
the Class of 1953 and is a former chairwoman of
the board of KCPT Channel 19 in Kansas City.
A $100,000 pledge from Frank J. and Barbara Brinkman
Becker. Frank, e'58, is owner and president of Becker
Investments Inc. Barbara has served on the Emporia
State University Foundation Board of Trustees.
A $100,000 pledge from William and Marjorie Heard
Franklin of Prairie Village. William, e'56, and
Marjorie, e '56, are principal engineers for Franklin
Associates Ltd. in Prairie Village.
Some donors remain anonymous.
Gifts for Eaton Hall counted toward the $500 million
goal of KU First: Invest in Excellence, the largest
fund-raising campaign in KU history. KU Endowment is
conducting KU First on behalf of KU through 2004 to
raise funds for scholarships, fellowships, professorships,
capital projects and program support. KU Endowment is
an independent, nonprofit organization serving as the
official fund-raising and fund-management organization