Colorado State University today announced the largest corporate gift in the school’s history–a $3.2 million gift from Lectra Systems that will provide state-of-the-art computer software to the department of design and merchandising within the College of Applied Human Sciences.
The donation provides the department with computer design software that will give students a hands-on education with the most up-to-date technology used in the apparel industry. The equipment will help students learn fabric design, pattern design and product information management.
"Lectra’s generous gift exemplifies the important relationship between industry and higher education," said Colorado State President Albert C. Yates. "The gift will give our students the tools they’ll need to thrive in the high-technology work environment, and it also will help meet industry’s need for employees who are well-trained and prepared to tackle new challenges."
"We are very proud of our association with Colorado State University," said David Siegelman, president of Lectra Systems, Inc. and director of North American Operations. "We are committed to partnering with outstanding universities, and providing leading edge computer aided design and computer aided manufacturing technology for the future of the industry."
The gift from Lectra includes several integrated computer programs that work together as a comprehensive computer aided design system. Programs include Modaris, a pattern-making program; Diamino, a program that allows users to efficiently map pattern layout on a piece of fabric; Vigi Print, the print program for Modaris and Diamino; U4ia, a solution for designing textiles, repeat prints, wovens and knits; and another U4ia program for technical sketching of garments. All of these programs have been installed on 26 new computers in the design and merchandising student laboratory and have been incorporated into this fall’s curriculum.
"It is very rare for students to have this much access to state-of-the-art tools that are being used in the workplace," said Eulanda Sanders, assistant professor in Colorado State’s department of design and merchandising. "Lectra is used by so many companies nationally and internationally that our students’ knowledge of the programs will open a host of job opportunities. Students are anxious to begin work with the software that will make a great academic program even more outstanding."
"The Lectra gift also will allow our students to better link with industry in the region and state," said Antigone Kotsiopulos, head of Colorado State’s department of design and merchandising. "Our department often assembles student teams to fill requests from small companies. Many companies do not have access to equipment and software, so this type of partnership meets companies’ needs and gives students an opportunity to work with real world problems."
Diane Sparks, associate professor in the department of design and merchandising, said the software will allow students to learn more in less time and also will reduce the cost of producing prototypes in new product development. In 1997, Sparks won the Lectra Fashion Award, the top fashion design award presented at the annual International Textile and Apparel Association Design competition.
The gift from Lectra is the most recent in a series of positive announcements for the department of design and merchandising, which includes specializations in apparel design, interior design and merchandising. The department was just reaccredited by the Foundation for Interior Design Education Research and remains the only accredited program in the state and region that is housed at a four-year research institution. The American Society of Interior Designers, which traditionally awards only one annual Polsky Award for Academic Achievement, this year doubled the award in order to acknowledge two students, both from Colorado State. This year the department also received Colorado State’s Outstanding Service for Diversity Award in recognition of diversity enhancement at the university.
Lectra Systems is the worldwide leader in computer aided design and computer aided manufacturing systems for the apparel, upholstery, home furnishings, footwear, automotive and technical textiles industries. Systems include artistic design, pattern making and grading, marker making, product information management, fabric spreading and automated cutting systems. Lectra software is used by leading manufacturers including Calvin Klein, Liz Claiborne, Kellwood, Dayton Hudson department stores, Sara Lee, J.C. Penney, Sears, Kasper and Norton McNaughton.
Lectra currently has more than 9,300 customers, and has sales and service offices located in more than 100 countries and the world. Lectra’s American headquarters are in Marietta, Georgia.