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William Stephan

David Bricker
IU Media Relations

Last modified: Thursday, April 8, 2004

Simon family lends name to new IU Bloomington life sciences building

Photo by: Anderson Illustration Associates Inc.

Print-Quality Photo

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- One of the leading philanthropic families of Indiana is providing a major gift in support of a cutting-edge life sciences research building at Indiana University's Bloomington campus.

IU announced today (April 8) that members of the Simon family will contribute $9 million toward construction of the 140,000-square-foot research and teaching facility, which will be named Simon Hall.

"The Simon family's remarkable vision will enable Indiana University to significantly enhance basic research on our Bloomington campus. The collaborative research facilitated by the Simons' generosity will dramatically distinguish our work in the life sciences and advance our pursuit of new knowledge," said IU President Adam W. Herbert.

The gift is from Melvin and Bren Simon, Herbert and Bui Simon, David E. and Jackie Simon, Deborah J. Simon, and Cynthia Simon Skjodt and Paul Skjodt. Melvin Simon and Herbert Simon are the co-chairmen and David Simon is the chief executive officer of Simon Property Group Inc., a Standard & Poor's 500 company. Simon Property Group is a real estate investment trust that owns and manages income-producing properties, primarily regional malls and community shopping centers throughout the country.

"Indiana has been our family's home for more than 40 years, and we are pleased to play a major role in furthering scientific excellence and research capabilities in our state through construction of this new building on the Indiana University campus in Bloomington," said David E. Simon on behalf of the Simon family members.

Construction of the $55.7 million research building that has been known as the Multidisciplinary Science Building Phase I (MSB I) will begin with a June 3 ceremonial groundbreaking at its future site north of Myers Hall. Construction is expected to be completed in 2007. The building will house researchers in chemistry, biology, psychology and physics.

"Through the Simon family's generosity, Simon Hall will become the reality the College needs it to be, a cutting edge multidisciplinary facility," said IUB College of Arts and Sciences Dean Kumble R. Subbaswamy. "This building will be a unifying hub for fundamental research in sciences, and discoveries there will provide the basis for new applied clinical research at the School of Medicine."

The College's basic science departments, such as chemistry, biology and physics, are fundamental components of the life sciences research arsenal in central Indiana. Basic research, combined with health and clinical work that occurs at such locations as the IU School of Medicine, provides the engine for the life sciences initiative promoted by BioCrossroads, central Indiana's life sciences network.

"The critical link between basic scientific research and the application of that research to the creation of new medications or procedures will be well served by this facility," said Dr. August (Gus) Watanabe, chair of the BioCrossroads board of directors. "The entire university, from the excellent scientists and researchers on the Bloomington campus, to those at the medical school in Indianapolis and on other campuses, supports our efforts to make Indiana a premier center for the life sciences."

The new building will provide much-needed laboratory space for the Linda and Jack Gill Center for Biomolecular Measurement as well as for proteomics, biochemistry and other research spanning multiple scientific fields. Simon Hall, which also will house the Johnson Center for Science and Entrepreneurship, is the first science-only building constructed on IU Bloomington's space-constrained campus since the completion of the Geological Sciences Building in 1962.

"Any expansion of university research capabilities is great news for our life sciences efforts and Indiana's economy generally," said David Goodrich, president of the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership and a BioCrossroads co-founder. "Every dollar invested in academic research attracts additional public and private funding and produces the innovation that drives economic growth in the biosciences."

"The generosity of the Simon family on the Bloomington campus was deeply felt before this gift," said IU Foundation President Curt Simic. "This new commitment is another example of their values and commitment to Indiana University and the state of Indiana. For that we are all extremely grateful."

Members of the family previously have made the naming gifts for the Helene G. Simon Hillel Center and the Bess Meshulam Simon Music Library and Recital Center on the Bloomington campus. Several members of the family have degrees from IU, and all have close ties to the university.

Flad & Associates, in Madison, Wis., designed the building and its landscape in accordance with guidelines set by the University Architect's Office, NYC-based University Masterplanner John Belle, IU administrators and faculty members.

Two additional science buildings are planned for sites just north of 10th Street, near the Geological Sciences building.

To speak with Indiana University administrators and faculty, contact William Stephan at 812-855-0850, or David Bricker at 812-856-9035,

For high resolution images of Simon Hall, see: