Daniel Foundation supports TROY riverfront project in Phenix City with $600,000 gift

Posted: Tuesday, 28 February 2012

PHENIX CITY—Troy University's proposed riverfront building in Phenix City has received a major boost in the form of a $600,000 gift from the Daniel Foundation.

The University, which established a campus in Phenix City in 1975, and the City have joined forces on the project, which will build a multi-story building which includes classrooms and offices in downtown Phenix City.

"Troy University, through the development of its campus, planted the seed of Renaissance in downtown Montgomery," said Charles W. Daniel of the Daniel Foundation, which is based in Birmingham. "I believe the Troy University riverfront project in Phenix City will have a similar effect. The Daniel Foundation is proud to be a part of this important initiative."

The Daniel Foundation, established in 1978, seeks to strengthen Alabama communities and improve the quality of life for all Alabama citizens through the support of quality educational programs, arts and culture, civic and community programs and medical care and research.

Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr., Troy University Chancellor, expressed his appreciation for the Daniel Foundation's support. "We are deeply grateful to the Daniel Foundation for its major commitment to this project," Chancellor Hawkins said. "This is the largest gift ever made by the Daniel Foundation in the greater Phenix City area and it signifies the value it places on the long-term effect this building can have on the improvement of the downtown area."

Chancellor Hawkins praised Phenix City officials for their partnership on the project, which was announced formally on Dec. 22, 2011.

"I commend the City Council and the Mayor for their visionary leadership," Dr. Hawkins said. "I believe this project will make an enormous difference in the quality of life in Phenix City for years to come."

The international presence of Troy University will be reflected by a 20-foot tall Trojan warrior statue which will stand in front of the building overlooking the Chattahoochee River. Valued at $250,000, the statue was donated by noted artist Huo Bao Zhu of Xian, China.

"It is an honor to have my work featured so prominently by Troy University. I was excited to learn of the riverfront project from Dr. Hawkins," said Huo, whose friendship with the University dates to the Chancellor's visit to Xian, China in 2002. "The Trojan warrior statue signifies strength, but it will also signify international friendship and cooperation, which Troy University is noted for."

Dr. David White, Vice Chancellor of the Phenix City Campus, said it "speaks volumes" that a foundation based in Birmingham and an artist in China would invest in a project in Phenix City.

"We are in the final stages of fundraising for this project, which promises to change Phenix City's downtown landscape forever," Dr. White said. "It's an exciting time for Troy University, Phenix City and the Chattahoochee River."

The building will include space for the Sorrell College of Business's Center for International Business and Economic Development and a water resources research center. In addition, the building will serve as the home of an eminent scholar in risk management and insurance, which is made possible by a $1 million gift from Paul Amos of the AFLAC Corp.