Stanford University

News Service



James Robinson, News Service (650) 723-5675; e-mail:

$20 million gift will fund new biology and chemistry building

Plans for a greatly needed new research laboratory building for the Departments of Biological Sciences and Chemistry are coming to fruition thanks to a $20 million donation from Lorry I. Lokey, Class of 1949.

Officials hope the new building, which will be named after Lokey, will open in September 2002. Dedicated to intensive research, the 85,000-square-foot building will be located on Roth Way, adjacent to the Seeley Mudd Chemistry building.

Fire code compliance issues in Mudd prevent its ongoing use for intensive chemical research.

"Basically, the facilities in Mudd Chemistry for synthetic chemistry were not up to the new codes in Santa Clara County. The county was patient with us, but we needed to fix that problem or in principle they could shut us down," said Malcolm Beasley, dean of the School of Humanities and Sciences.

At a meeting a year ago of the school's advisory council, Beasley spoke about the acute need for a new facility. After lunch, he said, Lokey told him he was interested in the project. Subsequent conversations with Beasley and President Gerhard Casper culminated in Lokey's commitment to make the new building a reality.

"I was really touched by what he did," Beasley said.

"You cannot have a great university without chemistry and biology. They've got to be strong. Making them strong requires modern facilities and enough space to do the research."

A lack of sufficient space also has hindered the Biological Sciences Department's ability to make faculty appointments, he added.

"If someone hadn't come through with a major gift, this project would have been delayed longer -- and the standing of the chemistry and biology departments is at stake," Lokey said, explaining why he decided to make the donation. "I feel like the money is really going to be well spent."

The new $50 million building will help address some of the long-term needs of the Departments of Chemistry and Biological Sciences. Construction of the building is allowed under the university's current General Use Permit.

The building will include new laboratories, laboratory support, chemical stores and offices. About two-thirds of the building will be for the Chemistry Department and one-third for Biological Sciences.

The project will require the demolition of the Chem Stores modular building and the Organic Chemistry building. Many of the functions now housed in Organic Chemistry are expected to move into vacated space in Mudd.

The building is currently being designed from the inside out, starting with the laboratories. It is likely to be a three-story building.

Lokey has made many gifts to Stanford, although this is his largest. Among his other gifts are professorships in human biology and Jewish studies; visiting professorships in human biology and professional journalism; as well as several fellowships and other funds.

He also has been generous with other educational causes, including recent gifts to Santa Clara University and Mills College.

Lokey, 73, the founder of Business Wire, lives in Atherton.

"There are millions of charities you can give to and they're all worthwhile, but you can't save the world and you can't support all of them. I have chosen education as the most important of them," Lokey said.



© Stanford University. All Rights Reserved. Stanford, CA 94305. (650) 723-2300. Terms of Use  |  Copyright Complaints