has announced a $25 million gift from James R. and Susan Shallcross Swartz in support of a major capital project at the .
The largest gift in the divinity school's two-hundred-year history will help fund the renovation of Andover Hall, the school's main campus building. The project will bring core academic resources together with student services and social space; create spaces for conferences and public conversations on religion; modernize classrooms with a new multimedia infrastructure; and provide full access to the building to people of all physical abilities. With the addition of ultra-energy-efficient heating and cooling systems, improved air quality, use of sustainable materials, and other improvements, the renovated building is expected to earn at least Gold certification for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) from the .
A painter who has received international recognition, Susan Swartz serves on the HDS dean's council. Harvard alumnus James R. Swartz (AB '64) is co-founder of the venture capital firm Accel.
"Susan and Jim Swartz have supported every priority of the Campaign for HDS — student scholarships, professorships, events and programming, and much more," said HDS dean David N. Hempton. "By revitalizing our main campus building, this extraordinary gift will enable us to reimagine our entire campus to meet the needs of a diverse twenty-first-century faculty and student body. On behalf of the entire HDS community — both today and for generations to come — I extend to Susan and Jim our most profound thanks."
"Jim and I have seen the impact our previous gifts have had on the lives of HDS graduates and the communities they serve," said Susan Swartz. "We wanted to do more, and especially want to acknowledge the extraordinary leadership of…David Hempton and…Drew Faust. We are thrilled to be their partners in ensuring that this unique and historic building will become an innovation lab for the future of religious education and ethical leadership."
(Photo credit: Harvard University)