Gift will make new academic auditorium a reality at Iowa State

Artist's rendering of Troxel Hall, to be built on the northeast side of the Iowa State University campus

AMES, Iowa - One of Iowa State University's most critical needs will soon be met after the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, today approved plans for a $10 million, 400-seat auditorium to be built on campus. Construction is scheduled to be completed when fall semester classes start in 2012.

The Change Happens Foundation of Holualoa, Hawaii, has made a $5 million commitment toward the construction of the state-of-the-art auditorium building. The facility will be built on the northeast side of campus near the Agronomy Building, Horticulture Hall and FarmHouse Museum. Additional funding for the building's construction will come from Iowa State reserve funds.

"With student enrollment at Iowa State University at an all-time high, the demand for introductory courses, particularly in the physical, biological and social sciences, has increased dramatically," said Iowa State University President Gregory Geoffroy, "and this new auditorium building will enable us to provide those courses in a state-of-the-art learning environment."

The structure will be named after Douglas D. Troxel ('67 mathematics) of Holualoa, Hawaii, president and chief executive officer of the Change Happens Foundation. A private family foundation, the Change Happens Foundation is committed to helping motivated groups with pioneering research and forward-thinking projects that benefit humanity.

"As an alumnus, my family and the Change Happens Foundation are proud to work in partnership with the Iowa State family in building a high-tech center for active learning on the beautiful and world-class Iowa State campus," Troxel said.

Troxel is a Lake City, Iowa, native who founded Serena Software in 1980, establishing an industry standard for software change management on mainframe computer systems. From 1980-97, Troxel served as president and chief executive officer of Serena. He currently serves as Serena's chairman emeritus.

"My inspiration for the auditorium surrounded the aging of technology," Troxel said. "Forty years ago, we would want to have grease markers on white-boards instead of using chalk. That now seems antiquated much like buggy whips are and land-line phones will become."

Construction of the 400-seat auditorium will allow Iowa State to greatly increase the number of sessions offered for introductory courses in the sciences and social sciences, including chemistry, physics and psychology. It is conceivable that nearly every Iowa State undergraduate would have a learning experience within Troxel Hall during his or her college career.

Through an increased level of state-of-the-art instructional technology and lecture demonstration capabilities, faculty teaching in Troxel Hall will optimize the quality of instruction and student learning on campus. This will include overhead projectors and projection screens, data projectors and monitors, video playback, document cameras, audio systems, access to both the campus network and the Internet, and other emerging classroom technology.

"Providing this array of instructional tools in Troxel Hall will enable faculty members to use the latest technologies available to make course content more interesting and relevant. In turn, this will make learning more meaningful to our students," Geoffroy said.

The gift is part of Campaign Iowa State: With Pride and Purpose, the university's $800 million fundraising effort.