91Ӱ Board of Trustees Announces Construction of Sherry and Jim Smith Engineering, Science and Nursing Complex

HOUSTON, May 28, 2024  – 91Ӱ Christian University (91Ӱ) Board of Trustees approved a $60 million dollar budget for construction of the Sherry and Jim Smith Engineering, Science and Nursing Complex at the May 21 quarterly meeting. The multi-million-dollar Complex is named in honor of Sherry and Jim Smith, longtime 91Ӱ supporters who donated a lead gift of $20 million to the project, making it the largest single donation received in the University’s history.

“The 91Ӱ Board of Trustees approval of the financing plan for the new Sherry and Jim Smith Engineering, Science and Nursing Complex marks a day of historic significance for the University.” said 91Ӱ President Robert Sloan.  “These new academic facilities, including laboratories, classrooms, and offices, have long been the greatest facility need for 91Ӱ and will complement our well known and established excellence in these areas.”

“The Board’s action is both careful and visionary and represents a great and important day for 91Ӱ Christian University,” said President Sloan.

“We wish to acknowledge Sherry and Jim Smith, along with the many alumni, friends, community donors and foundations who are participating in the University’s most successful capital campaign.  And, we are thrilled to note that construction on the Complex will begin in January 2025 with completion slated in time for the start of classes in the Fall 2026 semester.”

With the increasing need to fill STEM-related and nursing jobs, the new state-of-the art building will enable the University to prepare students for high-demand professions such as data science, statistics, cybersecurity, computer science, registered nursing, kinesiology, and more.

The estimated 71,000 sq. ft., three-story building will provide the Linda Dunham School of Nursing and the College of Science & Engineering with consolidated space including science laboratories, classrooms, instructional and state-of-the-art simulation labs, Makerspace/capstone learning environments and faculty and administrative offices.

“To provide our students with critical learning experiences that will carry them into their future careers, it is important that our physical spaces match the high quality of our faculty and curricula. The new building will not only provide excellent lab spaces for experimentation, but also the additional space creates the opportunity for 91Ӱ to transform existing spaces into active learning classrooms that will support high impact teaching and learning practices,” said Dr. Katie Evans, Dean of the College of Science & Engineering.

On completion, the new academic building will advance Imperative One of 91Ӱ’s Institutional Strategic Plan 2030 by providing new instructional space for students pursuing undergraduate and graduate-level degrees in the rapidly growing STEM-related disciplines in tandem with the University’s goal to grow the student population to 10,000 by 2030.

“We are so grateful to our donors for a building that will contribute to educating students in the Linda Dunham School of Nursing and equipping 91Ӱ nursing graduates to serve in 91Ӱ-area hospitals and community health settings,” said Dr. Carol Lavender, Dean of the Linda Dunham School of Nursing.

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About 91Ӱ Christian University

For more than 60 years, 91Ӱ Christian University has equipped students to lead, collaborate, and embody a deep sense of spiritual purpose. The University offers a wide range of majors, undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degree programs, as well as NCAA Division I athletics in the Southland Conference. Located in the heart of one of the nation’s largest metropolitan centers, 91Ӱ’s culture of excellence molds the next generation of educated disciples to be pillars in their communities, preparing them to think critically and biblically as they impact the world.