Alkek Foundation Grant Funds New Mechanical Engineering Labs

University to Host Blessing of Garni Science Hall Facilities on Friday

The Albert and Margaret Alkek Foundation recently awarded St. Mary’s University a $200,000 grant to support its new Mechanical Engineering program.

Garni Science Hall

The fruits of that grant will be on display at 2 p.m. Friday, Aug. 22, as the School of Science, Engineering and Technology hosts a blessing of the Garni Science Hall Mechanical Engineering Laboratories. There will be an open house and tours of the renovated facility.

The Alkek Foundation grant will provide the initial resources for student instruction and projects in the areas of thermo-fluids and strength of materials. This will provide students better hands-on, real-world experiences that will make them more competitive in the job market.

“Hundreds of students will benefit from this equipment each year,” said University President Thomas Mengler. “We are grateful for yet another transformational gift from the Alkek Foundation, whose generosity is evident on our campus and among our alumni.”

Last fall, St. Mary’s joined UTSA as the only institutions in San Antonio to offer a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering.

Jobs for mechanical engineers are expected to increase 9 percent from 2010-2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, with a jump of 62 percent in biomedical engineering jobs.

The Albert and Margaret Alkek Foundation has given about $3.5 million to St. Mary’s over the years. Albert B. Alkek, who attended St. Mary’s, was a longtime supporter of his alma mater and a member of the Board of Trustees. His name graces the University’s business building.

For more information on the Garni blessing, please contact Denise McGlothing at 210-436-3996.

St. Mary’s also offers Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Industrial Engineering, Software Engineering, Engineering Management and Engineering Science programs.

St. Mary’s University repeatedly has been nationally recognized for its commitment to service and community engagement. The Carnegie Foundation has given St. Mary’s its prestigious Community Engagement Classification, and St. Mary’s has received the Presidential Award from the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, the highest federal recognition for service in higher education. St. Mary’s University is a Catholic and Marianist university with a tradition of academic excellence.

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