September 18, 2009

The LSU College of Engineering is committed to transforming lives through research and education in the areas of environmental sustainability and pollution control. To partner in this effort, Walmart has chosen a philanthropic investment opportunity through the LSU Forever LSU Campaign to sponsor two LSU Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering (CEE) laboratories and physically improve these laboratories, giving LSU students and faculty the tools they need to excel. Recently approved by the LSU Board of Supervisors, the Walmart Laboratory for the Study of Pollution Control and the Sam’s Club Laboratory for Environmental Sustainability will be used for instruction and research in the designated areas of environmental sustainability and pollution control.

“These laboratories offer the College of Engineering the mechanism to engage students and faculty in discovering new approaches toward environmental protection and preservation of natural resources,” said College of Engineering Dean Richard Koubek. “In addition, LSU engineering students will have an opportunity to investigate more options for renewable energy and zero waste capabilities.”

Mr. Patrick Hamilton, a 1984 LSU Civil Engineering alumnus and Vice President of Construction for Walmart is responsible for the construction of Walmart and Sam’s Club facilities throughout the United States. Hamilton is a staunch advocate of LSU and particularly the CEE Department.

According to Hamilton, “The Walmart Construction and Stormwater Compliance Divisions have recently made several donations to organizations and projects related to the improvement of water quality. In evaluating opportunities to donate, we consider the project’s impact on such things as education, diversity, water quality and benefit to the communities that we serve through our Wal-Mart stores and Sam's Clubs. We were excited about the opportunity to work with LSU on these projects as they satisfied several of these criteria. We look forward to hearing about the learning experiences of LSU students in the Walmart Laboratory for the Study of Pollution Control and the Sam’s Club Laboratory for Environmental Sustainability.”

George Z. Voyiadjis, Boyd Professor and CEE Department Chair explained the importance of this gift, “The laboratory, housed within LSU's Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, will be used for undergraduate and graduate classroom demonstrations and laboratory classes. When not used for classes, the laboratory will be used for student and faculty research involving control of environmental pollutants. The equipment will markedly expand the Department's capacity for students to perform hands-on experiments as an important part of their formal coursework. The infrastructure will also allow students and faculty to perform meaningful research in the area of pollution control and environmental sustainability.”

In 2008, Walmart and its Foundation gave more than $66 million to fund continued support of students and opportunities in post-secondary education. Through its scholarship programs alone, the Walmart Foundation awarded more than $8 million in scholarship funding in 2008. By supporting education, the Walmart Foundation ensures that the leaders of tomorrow have access to the quality education opportunities they need to be successful today.

Support for LSU CEE, like that shown by Walmart and Sam’s Club, helps the College of Engineering move closer to its Forever LSU campaign goal of attaining $100 million in support for the college. Forever LSU has an overall goal of attaining more than $750 million for the university by the end of 2010. To find out how to become involved with the campaign for LSU’s future, visit www.eng.lsu.edu/alumni/contribute.html or www.foreverlsu.org.

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Article by Mimi LaValle, director of Communications, LSU College of Engineering, 225-578-5706, mlavall@lsu.edu



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