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Longtime donor to fund multipurpose facility at Mount St. Mary's

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By Lillian Andemicael | June 10, 2018

Delaplaine Commons

Philanthropist and longtime donor George B. Delaplaine Jr. will fund a new multipurpose space for students to collaborate at Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg.

The need for the space arose due to growing enrollment, said Donna Klinger, university spokeswoman.

“The university is growing and we have more students. We really lack space for students to collaborate and to meet,” Klinger said. “So it will give more of that kind of space, as well as just to relax and hang out with each other.”

The university experienced an uptick in new student enrollment this year. In fall 2017, enrollment grew by 25 percent, and the fall 2018 incoming class is projected to be the largest in the university’s 210-year history, Klinger said.

The space, which will be known as the Delaplaine Family Academic Commons, will connect the current science building with a new one, but will function as its own facility. It will have three levels; the top and bottom levels will be open-air with an enclosed middle level, Klinger said. The new science building and academic commons space are projected to cost a combined $16 million and will open in the next several years, Klinger said.

The Delaplaine family donates to the university annually, with a lifetime giving total of more than $6 million, according to a university press release.

“On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I am thrilled that the Delaplaine family name will be associated with the academic commons,” Mary Kane, chairwoman of the Mount St. Mary’s University board of trustees, said in the release.

This donation is the first major gift to the Mount’s Forward Together as One capital campaign, which aims to develop new facilities and enhance existing buildings, the release said.

“We are deeply grateful for this gift and its role in moving the Mount and our students successfully into the future,” university President Timothy E. Trainor said in the release.

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