Claremont McKenna College News Releases.


Claremont McKenna College Announces $40 Million W.M. Keck Foundation Gift to Support Iconic New Sciences Center

Claremont McKenna College today announced a transformative $40 million lead gift from the W.M. Keck Foundation to support an iconic new facility to house the College’s new integrated sciences program. The program will prepare students for leadership within a modern global economy and create expansive, collaborative, and innovative learning opportunities.

The facility will be named the Robert Day Sciences Center, honoring CMC alumnus, fifty-year trustee, and W.M. Keck Foundation Chair and Chief Executive Officer Robert Day ’65 P’12.

“Students of today must learn how to solve the complex problems of tomorrow,” Day said. “This new center will provide a powerful platform for innovation in pursuit of CMC’s leadership mission to seize the opportunities of scientific discovery and responsibly put them to work in the economy and our democracy.”

The Robert Day Sciences Center will foster transparent and dynamic interaction between students, faculty, staff, and experts, as well as across all disciplines, applied research, and hands-on learning opportunities. Designed by world-renowned architecture firm BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group, the center’s open and light-filled design is a metaphor for conversations between core disciplines and the College’s innovation of undergraduate sciences education.

“The Keck Foundation is proud to partner in support of CMC’s extraordinary vision, bringing the best in philanthropic support for the sciences together with the best in liberal arts education,” said Joe Day, Co-President of the W.M. Keck Foundation. “We are proud of the distinctive architecture, its impact on CMC’s beautiful campus, and ways in which the facility will build a community of scholars in shared purpose.”

Walking into the first level of the center, students will enter a full-height atrium and spaces that facilitate collaborative activity throughout. Other envisioned spaces include the Workshop, the Innovation Hub, and the Agora, high-trafficked areas for study, group projects, multidisciplinary spaces, presentations, and virtual convenings, as well as classrooms and offices for CMC institutes, centers, and labs. Recognizing that the new 120,000-square-foot center will be used by the entire campus for extended hours, the design anticipates a café on the ground level.

The two parallel stacks on the first floor are rotated by 45 degrees on levels two and three and will house teaching and research labs, all flexibly designed to adapt to multiple uses, as well as offices for faculty. Plans also call for both levels to benefit from terraces that allow easy access to the outdoors, visibility to the main atrium, plenty of natural light, space for public art, and multiple independent and group gathering spaces.

Located on the eastern edge of the current campus footprint at the corner of Ninth Street and Claremont Boulevard, the Robert Day Sciences Center will create a strong presence and gateway on Claremont Boulevard, while launching a series of campus developments and improvements to prepare CMC for its next chapter. 

“We are immensely grateful to Robert Day and the Keck Foundation for this transformational support,” said CMC President Hiram E. Chodosh. “This is a dream come true: a stunning home for integrating world-class experimental and computational sciences with CMC’s outstanding strengths in the social sciences and the humanities. Here we will prepare responsible leaders at the critical intersections—known and unknown—of science, economics, policy, ethics, and other important fields to take on the big challenges and opportunities of our time.”


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