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Major Gifts to Support Final Phase One Improvements to Anderson Street and East College Lawn

Major Gifts to Support Final Phase One Improvements to Anderson Street and East College Lawn

February 4, 2013

LGL 6829President Brian W. Casey announced today that the University has received a combined $2 million from two donors, which will provide for the completion of Phase One of the University’s Campus Master Plan.  Projects funded by the two gifts include enhancements to historic properties along the University’s new entrance and the restoration of East College lawn.

A $1 million gift from Jane L. Emison will support the creation of the Emison University Residences with the renovation of three historic properties on Anderson Street, which now serves as the entrance to the University.  The restored residences will include the Ireland House, one of Greencastle’s most historic structures, an Italianate home constructed in 1887 and known for its beautiful and ornate woodwork.  Each of these properties will serve visiting scholars, artists and guests of the University. (at left: an architect's rendering of one of the historic structures, Ireland House.  Below right is an image of the home as it looks today.)

“DePauw’s new entrance creates an incredible first impression for visitors to this University,” said Emison.  “It is my hope that the restoration of these properties will add to the beauty of the University’s entrance, and that the scholars and artists living within them will enrich the culture of this campus.”

The second gift, a $1 million commitment from Douglas I. and Ann Smith, will support the restoration of the grounds surrounding East College, Holton Memorial Quadrangle and the north lawn of East College between Locust Street and Roy O. West Library.  Restoration efforts will include tree plantings, landscape beds, irrigation, lighting, and pedestrian pathway re-alignment.  The northern border of this restored area -- between Locust Street and Holton Quadrangle -- will be known as Smith Walk, akin to Burkhart Walk.

“I simply can’t imagine DePauw without thinking of East College and the grounds that surround it,” said Doug Smith ’85.  “The beauty of the DePauw campus is striking, but it must be nurtured and restored. Ann and I wanted to ensure that these grounds, in the academic core of our campus, match the extraordinary contributions made by the faculty and students who walk them.” 

The restoration of the Emison University Residences and the East College grounds will begin in the summer of 2013 and will match the features of Anderson Street.  Initial enhancements to the East College grounds are expected to be complete in advance of the 2013-2014 academic year, while the Emison University Residences are scheduled to be complete in the fall of 2013.

“I am immensely grateful to Doug and Ann Smith and to Jane Emison for their generosity to DePauw,” said Casey.  “Their commitment to this University is clear, and their passion for making it even stronger is infectious.  The legacy of their gifts will be a part of this campus for decades to come.”

Approved by the Board of Trustees in October 2010, the Campus Master Plan was the product of a 15-month review intended to guide the development of the University’s buildings and grounds.  In Phase One, the Plan called for the construction of a formal entrance to campus, along with enhancements to the Office of Admission and the restoration of the East College grounds.  With their gifts, Emison and Smith will make it possible for the University to complete the final elements of Phase One.

Jane L. Emison is a member of the University’s Board of Trustees. A graduate of North Dakota State University, she is the founder of Jane Larson Emison Designs and is a trustee of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, the Boys & Girls Club Foundation of the Twin Cities, and the North Dakota State University Foundation.  She also serves as the treasurer of the Hillswood Foundation.  Her late husband, Jim Emison, also served on the Board of Trustees.

Doug I. Smith ’85 is president of Miller and Smith Inc, one of the largest privately held residential land development and homebuilding companies in metropolitan Washington, D.C. He is also a member of the University’s Board of Trustees.  He is past president of HomeAid Northern Virginia, the philanthropic arm of the Northern Virginia Building Association.