"It is an exciting time at Columbia College, and I look forward to making more announcements like this one," said Dr. Gerald Brouder, president of the college.
Columbia College proudly announces a $250,000 gift for its science initiative from Web Bixby, president of Old American Insurance Company and a 1982 Columbia College graduate. Bixby is the national steering committee chairman for the science initiative, and has a history of supporting Columbia College as a trustee and a fundraiser for a foundation to develop the arts and education, established by his maternal grandmother. He has played an active role in the college’s physical development and is involved in one of the college’s next major milestones – a new science building.
"We are truly grateful and appreciate very much Mr. Bixby’s loyalty as well as the depth of his support," said Brouder. "The success of the institution’s science initiative is dependent upon the generosity of contributors who will enable us to strengthen and deepen the sciences here at Columbia College."
The college science initiative will enable the institution to deepen the sciences with state-of-the-art facilities, laboratories, technology and scientific equipment while inspiring students to embrace scientific discovery. The 45,000-square-foot, $13 million to $15 million science building will likely be built on what is now the Cougar Softball Field.
"Science is so central to our lives that it’s difficult to overstate its importance," Bixby said. "All the things we take for granted have some scientific connection. From the computer screen to the telephone, every apparatus we depend upon was, at one point, a product of a scientific mind creating or developing new avenues of exploration."
Bixby's family has deep roots in Columbia College. He is the son of Walter E. Bixby Jr., a college trustee emeritus and Mary Martha Musser Bixby ’51; Bixby's great-great-grandmother graduated from then-Christian College in 1908.
To date, the campaign has raised more than $1 million.