C.G. “Turk” and Joyce A. McEwen Therkildsen donated $42 million to the Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering, which allows the department to build a new facility.
The Therkildsens are an alumni couple who met at Iowa State in 1956. Turk graduated with a degree in industrial engineering, while Joyce double majored in zoology and physical education. Both accredit Iowa State for helping them to develop their work ethics and passions for education, according to a College of Engineering News release.
The new building, to be named Therkildsen Industrial Engineering as reported by College of Engineering News, is set to be located between Howe and Beyer Hall according to Dean of Engineering Samuel Easterling.
“It's one of the top five largest gifts of any kind ever to Iowa State,” said Easterling.
Easterling notes the importance of the Therkildsens' donation, saying that without such donation, the new building could not have been approved, citing the state's hesitancy to fund specialized buildings.
“So when the state funds a building, they want it to be broad; maybe it touches a number of things in a given college. Maybe it even supports two different colleges. So [the Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering] doesn't necessarily touch other units, so that has to be privately funded,” said Easterling.
The introduction of the Therkildsen Industrial Engineering building will not only attract new staff and aspiring engineers, but also distinguish Iowa State’s industrial engineering program from other schools in the country, according to Easterling.
There is no tentative date for the building's expected opening, however, Easterling anticipates the building to be open sometime between the 2024-2025 school years.