TROY - A $1 million donation by former U.S. Representative Terry Everett will help advance Troy University's new School of Science and Technology.
The gift, unveiled during the University's Board of Trustees meeting Friday, will fund an eminent scholar faculty position for the College of Arts and Sciences school, set to launch in Spring 2015.
"Science and technology is so important," said Everett. "I can't think of a better thing on which to concentrate."
Everett, a Midland City High School graduate and Dothan native, linked his interest in science and technology to his four-year hitch in the United States Air Force, where he was assigned to the USAF Security Service's 6901st Special Communication Group, serving as an analyst for the fledgling National Security Administration. Later, he would champion such causes as the U2 spy plane in Congress, where he served on the Armed Services Committee as chairman of the Subcommittee on Strategic Forces, and on the Permanent Select Committee of Intelligence as ranking member of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, among others. Following his Congressional career, Everett served on the Department of State's International Security Advisory Board.
"As a 19 year-old in the Air Force, science and technology captivated me and held my interest," Everett said. "I was very fortunate to be assigned where I could contribute to those advances … and to later protect those advances in Congress."
That genesis brought Everett into discussions with TROY Chancellor Dr. Jack Hawkins Jr., and the role that University could play in the state with an expanded emphasis on science and technology, Dr. Hawkins said. In addition to the gift, Everett has agreed to be a member of the School's advisory board of industry leaders.
"We are offering the programs needed for the 21st century," said Dr. James Rinehart, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. "We do that well already, but we'll expand dramatically with the creation of the School."
Rinehart said the School would focus on five primary areas: biomedical sciences; water resources and environmental science; manufacturing technology concentrating on aviation and automotive sectors; food safety; and computer science with a focus on software development.
"Troy University is committing to the advancement of science, mathematics and technology in the workplace," he said.
Former U.S. Rep. Terry Everett, second from left, unveiled a $1 million donation to Troy University's new School of Science and Technology during the University's Board of Trustees meeting Friday in Troy. With Everett are TROY Chancellor Jack Hawkins Jr., left, and Dothan Mayor Mike Schmitz, and Sen. Gerald Dial, president pro-tem of the board of trustees.