DALLAS (SMU) —The Kresge Foundation has made a commitment of up to $850,000 for the School of Engineering at Southern Methodist University. The commitment includes a $600,000 challenge grant to attract additional gifts needed to complete funding of the J. Lindsay Embrey Engineering Building, now under construction. The challenge grant is contingent upon the University’s success in raising by January 1, 2007, an additional $1.9 million required to complete the $15.9 million building.

In addition, The Kresge Foundation has indicated it will authorize an unrestricted bonus grant of up to $250,000 if the Embrey Building receives LEED certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) by the U.S. Green Building Council, which has established national standards for the design and construction of energy-managed and environmentally-sustainable buildings.

“The Kresge Foundation is one of the most respected foundations in the country, and its support is an affirmation of the importance of this project,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “The Foundation’s grant will enable us to complete funding for a greatly needed new building and, at the same time, broaden the base of future support for the SMU School of Engineering.”

The Embrey Engineering Building, scheduled to open in fall 2006, will house the SMU Engineering School’s Department of Environmental and Civil Engineering and Department of Mechanical Engineering. It will be part of SMU’s East Quadrangle, which serves as a new entrance to the campus reached from North Central Expressway. The building is named in honor of the late Lindsay Embrey and his wife, Bobbie, who provided the lead gift for the building.

Plans call for the Embrey Engineering Building to be an environmentally- sustainable, high-performance facility, known as a “green” building. It will be one of the first buildings in North Texas designed to maximize energy efficiency, water savings, and indoor environmental quality.

“With LEED certification, the Embrey Engineering Building will set a new standard for construction on the SMU campus and serve as a living laboratory for environmental and civil engineering students and faculty,” said Geoffrey Orsak, dean of the School of Engineering. “While LEED certified buildings are a fast-growing national trend, they are new to North Texas. Therefore, constructing the Embrey Building to LEED guidelines will raise awareness of environmental issues for other construction in the area.”

The Kresge Foundation, based in Troy, Michigan, is an independent, private foundation established in 1924. It provides grants to institutions in the fields of higher education, health and long-term care, arts and humanities, human services, science and the environment, and public affairs. Grants are made on a challenge basis, requiring the recipients to raise the remaining funds needed to complete projects. In 2005 The Kresge Foundation awarded more than 200 grants for a total of $131.8 million to recipients in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, South Africa, and Mexico.

In addition to the Department of Environmental and Civil Engineering and Department of Mechanical Engineering, to be housed in the new Embrey Building, the SMU School of Engineering includes Departments of Computer Science and Engineering; Electrical Engineering; and Engineering Management, Information, and Systems. The school offers Bachelor’s, Master’s, and doctoral degrees.