May 2, 2014

Contact: Matt Lazier

James G. Boswell Foundation Commits $8 Million to Construct Agricultural Research Center at Cal Poly

SAN LUIS OBISPO — The James G. Boswell Foundation has committed $8 million for the establishment of the “J.G. Boswell Agricultural Research Center” at Cal Poly.

“This generous gift from the James G. Boswell Foundation will jumpstart a project that will help keep Cal Poly’s agricultural programs at the leading edge, advance the interdisciplinary nature of our hands-on education, and further transform the heart of our campus,” said Cal Poly President Jeffrey D. Armstrong. “We are grateful to the foundation for its investment and partnership in Learn by Doing.”

Current plans for the research center include facilities such as laboratories to support sensory, food safety, plant pathology, enology and genomics. This will allow students from Cal Poly’s College of Agriculture, Food & Environmental Sciences, and from across the university, to experience front-line agricultural research technology and enhance their preparedness for industry success.

“We are excited to support Cal Poly in its mission to help students become the innovative professionals and future leaders our workforce needs,” said James W. Boswell, president of the James G. Boswell Foundation and Chairman/CEO of the J. G. Boswell Company.

“Our mission is to prepare students to become innovative professionals ready to solve the complex challenges associated with California’s robust agricultural economy and to feed the world in sustainable ways,” said Andrew J. Thulin, interim dean of Cal Poly’s College of Agriculture, Food & Environmental Sciences. “The Boswell Agricultural Research Center will provide our faculty and students with a state-of-the-art research and teaching facility that helps achieve these goals.”

The Boswell Agricultural Research Center is planned for the middle of Cal Poly’s campus, on the site now occupied by the remainder of Building 52, a decades-old science building that was partially demolished several years ago to make way for the construction of the new Warren J. Baker Center for Science and Mathematics. Naming of the Research Center is pending approval by the California State University Board of Trustees.

“The Baker Center and the Boswell Center represent the rebirth of our campus’s core and a renewed focus on providing state-of-the-art facilities for the cross-disciplinary learning and research that will keep our graduates on the path to success in their professions and their lives,” Armstrong said.

Construction on the approximately $25 million Boswell Agricultural Research Center is expected to begin when the balance of the funding is raised. In addition to the Boswell Foundation’s generous $8 million pledge, Cal Poly has secured additional pledges amounting to $5 million, for a total of $13 million.

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