Murdock Trust approves grant of $600,000 for Saint Martin’s new engineering building

September 25, 2012

LACEY, WASHINGTON — Saint Martin’s University is $600,000 closer to the completion of its new engineering building, thanks to a grant from the M. J. Murdock Charitable Trust. The Murdock Trust of Vancouver, Washington, recently recognized the significance of the Engineering Initiative at Saint Martin’s by approving a $600,000 grant for the University’s newest building, Fr. Richard Cebula, O.S.B. Hall. The grant will enable Saint Martin’s University to meet its $7.4 million fundraising goal for the building, which is currently under construction but slated to open in November.

The award from the Murdock Trust is a finishing grant, which means the University must raise the remaining $600,000 to achieve its $7.4 million goal before receiving the grant funds. This remaining amount will be raised from foundation grants, as well as private gifts from alumni and friends of the University. A campaign to sell brick pavers, priced between $500 to $2,000, for the plaza outside Cebula Hall will also generate funds for the building.

“We are grateful to the Murdock Trust for their generous gift,” said Zella Kahn-Jetter, Ph.D., P.E., dean of Saint Martin’s Hal and Inge Marcus School of Engineering. “Without their support, it would be very difficult to move forward with our plans of creating a center of engineering educational excellence. The grant will enable us to provide our students with an unparalleled educational experience.”

The new building, which was designed with the goal of achieving LEED Platinum certification, will serve a growing body of engineering students at Saint Martin’s. This year’s incoming class had the highest number of engineering majors in recent history, many of them drawn by progress — including the construction of Cebula Hall — made possible by the successful Engineering Initiative. In addition to the new building, the Hal and Inge Marcus School of Engineering recently added a new Master of Mechanical Engineering program and a new study abroad opportunity in Sydney, Australia, for Saint Martin’s engineering students.

As a “green” building, Cebula Hall will feature environmentally sustainable elements as well as exposed systems and structures to function as teaching and learning tools. It also will serve as a venue for the University to host local and regional engineering professional society meetings. The Saint Martin’s campus will be transformed by the facility, as it will complete Saint Martin’s first academic quadrangle. The “quad,” located in the heart of campus, will be a central gathering place for students and the broader Saint Martin’s community.

“The Murdock Trust is a partner in the area of sciences and higher education,” said Saint Martin’s University President Roy Heynderickx, Ph.D., “and we are pleased that the Trust recognizes our ability to build and support the greater community by enhancing the engineering program here at Saint Martin’s University.”

The Murdock Trust was created by the will of the late Melvin J. (Jack) Murdock, cofounder of Tektronix, Inc. The Trust’s mission is to enrich the quality of life in the Pacific Northwest by providing grants and enrichment programs to organizations seeking to strengthen the region’s educational, spiritual and cultural base in creative and sustainable ways. In addition to a special interest in education and scientific research, the Trust partners with a wide variety of organizations that serve the arts, public affairs, health and medicine, human services, leadership development, and persons with disabilities.

Saint Martin’s University is an independent four-year, coeducational university located on a 380-acre wooded campus in Lacey, Washington. Established in 1895 by the Catholic Order of Saint Benedict, the University is one of 14 Benedictine colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and the only one west of the Rocky Mountains. Saint Martin’s University prepares students for successful lives through its 23 majors and seven graduate programs spanning the liberal arts, business, education, nursing and engineering. Saint Martin’s welcomes more than 1,100 undergraduate students and 375 graduate students from many ethnic and religious backgrounds to its main campus, and 300 more undergraduate students to its extension campuses located at Joint Base Lewis-McChord and Centralia College. Visit the Saint Martin’s University website at

For additional information:

Rosanne Nichols
Vice president of institutional advancement
Saint Martin’s University

Zella Kahn-Jetter, Ph.D., P.E.
Dean, the Hal and Inge Marcus School of Engineering
Saint Martin’s University

Sarah Holdener
Director of community relations and event management
Office of Marketing and Communications
Saint Martin’s University