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Marc & Debbie Bingham and Bob Williams
Bingham Entrepeneurship and Energy Research Center
Utah State University celebrated the official opening of its Bingham Entrepreneurship and Energy Research Center at its Uintah Basin campus in Vernal, Utah, with two days of activities. The new facility will address environmental, political, financial and technological issues relative to the secure and sustainable development of Utah's natural resources and the enhancement of Utah's new business creation.
The 70,000-square-foot Bingham Entrepreneurship and Energy Research Center is a state-of-the-art, high-tech educational facility that will train students in business, entrepreneurship, accounting, engineering, water management, natural resources, environmental policy and other programs. Through the efforts of the Bingham Center, its scientists, researchers, laboratory partners and industry consortia, USU will be able to create innovative "best practices" for resource and economic development, environmental stewardship and education access.
Utah entrepreneur and businessman Marc Bingham and his wife, Debbie, donated $15 million for the Bingham Entrepreneurship and Energy Research Center.
The building houses 11 classrooms equipped with interactive video capabilities necessary for USU's Distance Education programs. This academic wing has space for student support services, including registration, advising and academic administration. Additionally, the Bingham Entrepreneurship wing of the center hosts entrepreneurs who wish to incubate their business endeavors in the entrepreneurial station.
"The Bingham Center will allow Utah State to aggressively and strategically pursue its research interests and opportunities in areas of the state where vast energy resources and new business opportunities exist," said USU President Stan L. Albrecht.
In fall 2007, Utah entrepreneur and businessman Marc Bingham and his wife, Debbie, donated $15 million for the building. The university, recognizing the $15 million would go a long way, began raising matching contributions from a variety of sources for the building that would cost $23.4 million dollars. Factoring in a $5 million land donation by Bob Williams of 138 acres, roads and other infrastructure enhancements, the venture exceeds $40 million.
"When President Albrecht and I discussed USU's need and goals, I knew what I wanted to do," said Marc Bingham. "I saw the opportunity to provide the people of the Basin something that could make their home one of the greatest places on Earth to live and to raise a family. I knew that it was my chance to achieve one of my lifelong goals, that of giving back to my community what my community has given me — opportunity."
Robert Behunin, special assistant to USU's president and newly named USU vice president over commercialization and regional development, said the center will create unprecedented partnerships with government, industry, higher education, national labs and special interest groups.
"Our goal is to create sustainable economic development, educational enhancement and business and technology innovation using energy development and applied research as a major platform," Behunin said.
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