Security Benefit donates $100,000

Travis Perry

With the renovation of Stoffer Science Hall well underway, the donation of an additional $100,000 by Security Benefit will help several departments, including the computer information sciences department, bust out of their cramped quarters and into a new facility.

“We hope this will aid in the continuation of Washburn’s growth and increase the quality of education for students,” said Michel’ Cole, vice president of corporate communications for Security Benefit.

Supporting the industries and communities in which they work is a fundamental part of what Security Benefit is all about, said Cole.

The projected $14.6 million cost of renovating Stoffer is a tall order, but the donation will go a long ways toward helping fund the project.

While this will not only provide opportunities for current departments in the building, it will also allow the confined CIS department to spread itself in a facility designed to accommodate their needs.

Originally a part of the math department, CIS was relocated to Bennett Hall when the need for a separate department was realized and under the assumption improvements would be made to expand the building. However, changes were made that eventually canceled the plan. All offices and classrooms are being utilized to their fullest at the current location, and the department has found they are spilling over to other locations on campus to accommodate the growing number of majors.

This problem has existed ever since CIS became an independent entity, said Gary Schmidt, interim library dean and former CIS chair. The labs that must be used are located in the basement of Morgan Hall, and classrooms are spread from Morgan to Carnegie Hall.

The future move of CIS to Stoffer will not only give it more room but will also provide for new scholarly activity and cooperation between the departments.

“We envision CIS majors being also chemistry and math majors,” said Schmidt. “There’s a lot of opportunity for us to recruit students.”

Schmidt added that this is a wonderful opportunity for the CIS department, and he hoped the university awards the same kind of opportunity to other departments.