As officials at Chatham University prepare to open their new Eden Hall Campus with a focus on sustainability, it has received its largest monetary gift ever in the form of a $15 million dollar endowment from the Falk Foundation.
The school and the foundation have long had a partnership, according to Chatham President Esther Barazzone, “starting in 1952 Chatham had a Falk Hall and since then we have been close to the foundation and its trustees. Sigo Falk, who is the current head of the foundation, has also been chair of the board of Chatham University.”
To honor the gift, the university will rename its School of Sustainability & the Environment and create a new endowed chair in social justice and sustainability.
The bulk of the $15 million will be used to finish the new campus and to hire staff in the School of Sustainability & the Environment. Barazzone believes the gift will allow the school to attract world-class professors to the campus
Barazzone said the University and the foundation, which is to be dissolved, share many of the same interests, “(The foundation) deals with troublesome issues such as racial justice, social justice, gender equity, and early childhood education, and Chatham University has been very involved also with progressive start causes from its founding to provide education to women who were otherwise denied.”
Chatham’s Eden Hall Campus is said to be a “living-learning laboratory for sustainability” and will strive to operate under a “zero-emissions” standard.