Bloomsburg University receives $1 million gift for Honors College enhancements
Bloomsburg University and the Bloomsburg University Foundation proudly announce a $1 million gift from Stephen J. Jones ’83 and his wife Melanie Sanchez-Jones for the BU Honors College to support the construction and enhancement of Lycoming Hall, the Honors College designated residence hall.
BU Honors College is a driving force in attracting high-achieving students and has quickly outgrown its space. The reimagined facility will provide Bloomsburg University’s Honors College students with a collaborative living and learning space to realize their academic and intellectual potential.
Jones, who recently retired from his position as the President and CEO of Covanta Holding Corporation, has been a loyal donor to BU for nearly 40 years with contributions totaling more than $2 million. Donating now primarily through a foundation he created with his wife, Melanie, they direct their support to high-impact learning practices, including study abroad professional experience grants, various Professional U initiatives, including support for four Professional U Faculty Fellowships.
“I came to Bloomsburg as a first-generation college student, looking to make something of myself and broaden my horizons,” said Jones. “My own experience studying abroad provided me with the opportunity to do that. Bloomsburg opened those doors for me and propelled me to a very successful global career. I hope our gift to the Honors College can help provide more opportunities for high-impact practices, research, mentoring, and experiences outside the classroom that offer an immense value to their education.”
“This gift from Steve and Melanie is a testament to their extraordinary generosity and vision to align their passion for supporting BU students with the University’s strategic priorities of attracting the best and brightest students for a world-class academic and co-curricular experience, and we can’t thank them enough,” said BU President Bashar W. Hanna. “Providing facilities like this to support our Honors students presents a tremendous advantage in helping us recruit high-achieving students.”
The renovation to the Honors College facility will include a new entrance and outside gathering area for honors students and upgrades to the lobby, classrooms, conference rooms, and shared study spaces.
“Thanks to the work of Dr. Julie Vandivere, the Honors College has experienced significant growth over the past four years, where she has helped cultivate a special relationship between the instructors and student,” said BU Provost and Senior Vice President Diana Rogers-Adkinson. “That relationship is engaged and intuitive, and this gift will help us create a space that fosters that while demonstrating to all the value of being in Honors College.”
Renovations will begin in 2023 and should be completed by the Spring of 2024.