Having paid for the landscape work at Baker University, a La Jolla, Calif., couple have now committed to building a place to sit and enjoy the view.
Elizabeth and James Ferrell will donate $750,000 for an addition to the Harter Student Union that will face the treed campus center, the university has announced.
The couple's $1.5 million donation in April 1998 financed extensive landscaping of that area that includes a man-made brook and pond. Some of that money also will help with a planned $6 million library renovation and expansion.
"What they did was take a very long look at our needs and then they met those needs in a most extraordinary way," said John Fuller, university director of public relations.
The union project will be an extension to the school cafeteria that can be open 24 hours a day.
"What we're trying to do is create places on campus that the students can have access to after hours," Fuller said. "The way our students study has changed so much in the past 10 years."
Students now do much of their learning in small groups and need places to meet, Fuller said.
The Ferrells have been friends of University President Dan Lambert since before he joined Baker.
Elizabeth Ferrell has been a member of the school's board of trustees since 1992. Jim Ferrell is chairman of Ferrellgas Inc., the second largest U.S. marketer of propane.
"They realize the tremendous amount of potential Baker has to be one of the outstanding colleges in the Midwest," Fuller said.
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