A $500,000 estate commitment from Diane Meyer Simon to Butler University will create the Mikhail Gorbachev Fund for the Center for Urban Ecology and Sustainability. The center’s office and teaching spaces will also be named in Gorbachev’s honor in the university’s expanded sciences complex.
Meyer Simon says she has worked with the former Soviet leader for more than 25 years, and co-founded the U.S. affiliate of Green Cross International, Global Green, in 1994. The new fund will offer support for CUES work in researching and practicing urban ecology.
“Both Butler University and Mikhail Gorbachev are beloved influences in my life. I wanted to honor both in an appropriate way,” Meyer Simon says. “It is my hope that this gift will engage more students to study urban ecology as well as strengthen the study of sciences aided by the new Sciences Renovation and Expansion at Butler.”
A portion of the gift will also go toward the currently under-construction Sciences Expansion and Renovation project, which is also named in Gorbachev’s honor. The new section of the project will offer expanded office space in Gallahue Hall, along with a multi-purpose space to be used as a teaching/gathering place for research and collaboration.
Butler University says it recently surpassed $30 million raised of the $42 million fundraising goal for the project. Plans call for adding nearly 44,000 square feet of teaching space and a more than 13,000 square foot atrium connecting Gallahue Hall and the Holcomb building.