$2 Million Gift Announced–Largest Donation from an Individual to Colorado State University

Today Colorado State University announced the largest gift from an individual–a $2 million donation from an alumni couple that will help renovate and expand the Engineering Building at Colorado State.

Harold Short, who graduated in 1940 with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, and his wife, Betty Short, made the contribution, which was announced by Colorado State President Albert Yates.

"I believe Colorado State is proceeding in the right direction," said Short. "With this gift, Betty and I want to help fill the gaps, to give something that would expand the opportunities for students. This gift was made to assist the university in providing an education which prepares students for tomorrow’s challenges."

The gift is a cornerstone of a campaign to expand the Engineering Building by 60 percent and renovate laboratories with state-of-the-art equipment and technology. The 40-year-old Engineering Building, originally constructed to accommodate half the number of current students, houses the departments of civil, electrical, and mechanical engineering and the department of physics. The Shorts’ gift will be used to create a new integrated laboratory and to create an endowed chair focused on civil infrastructure systems.

"Students have had a great deal of involvement in the planning and we are excited about the prospect of integrated laboratories which will allow students from across the College to work together and learn from each other," said Jamison Deba, sophomore in civil engineering.The new laboratory, to be named the Harold H. Short Civil Infrastructure Systems Laboratory, will focus on duplicating real-world engineering problems for students. The lab’s design- studio style will encourage communication and group skills and will integrate computers to provide communication links around the world. The laboratory will allow students to participate in projects that reclaim deteriorating infrastructures such as roads, mass transit, public utilities and buildings.

"During the past century, the United States invested heavily in infrastructure systems, but they have deteriorated," said Neil Grigg, chairman of the civil engineering department. "In developing nations, rapid population and economic growth require massive sums to provide for growth, health, safety, and social needs. Colorado State’s new focus on infrastructures will help to address America’s needs and those of developing nations."

The Shorts’ gift will also be used to create an endowed chair within the department of civil engineering. The professor holding the Harold H. Short chair will develop courses and a research program addressing infrastructure issues. The endowed chair and the laboratory will allow Colorado State to become a leader in working with the infrastructure industry, including construction firms and associations, engineering organizations, government agencies, and other scientific organizations devoted to enhancing infrastructure systems.