Campus: San Diego State University -- January 10, 2005

SDSU BioScience Center Receives $3 Million Endowment for Director

Since graduating with a degree from the College of Sciences in 1950, Fred Henry has always been grateful for the career opportunities made possible by studying at San Diego State. Now the retired Navy scientist is showing his appreciation by giving SDSU the opportunity to hire a world-class researcher.

Henry, 81, has pledged an estimated $3 million from his estate to permanently fund a faculty position which will serve as the director of the SDSU BioScience Center, a research facility dedicated to investigating the emerging links between heart disease and infectious diseases.
Starting this year, he will supplement state funding for a faculty appointment and give SDSU $85,000 annually for the rest of his life, allowing SDSU to immediately recruit for the position, entitled the Frederick G. Henry Chair in Life Sciences.

“I’m extremely pleased to help San Diego State enhance its leadership role in microbiology and cardiovascular research,” Henry said. “It’s incredibly gratifying to be able to give back to an institution that had such a profound impact on my life.

“I was fortunate that I had a smooth transition from graduation into a great job,” said Henry, who worked at the Navy Electronics Laboratory for 27 years, during which time he directed some of the lab’s most important scientific and technological endeavors. “Most of my associates were Ph.D.s and graduate students from the best universities across the country, and I immediately fit right in. I felt lucky to be there, and I’m so very thankful that my education at San Diego State made it possible.”

Thomas Scott, dean of SDSU’s College of Sciences, said Henry’s generosity enables SDSU to recruit a nationally recognized scientist to lead the SDSU BioScience Center.

“Fred Henry’s gift will fund the directorship at a generous level, allowing SDSU to compete for the most prominent scientists,” Scott said. “When you also consider that the director will oversee a new research facility with a high profile in the community, we expect we’ll be able to attract considerable interest from top-level candidates around the country.”

Recruitment for the Frederick G. Henry Chair in Life Sciences is underway and should be
completed by the time the SDSU BioScience Center opens in January 2006. The facility will house the SDSU Heart Institute, the Center for Microbial Sciences and other core programs and facilities. The building will feature four floors of research laboratories and a 100-seat auditorium in its 37,000 square feet of space.

SDSU President Stephen Weber said philanthropic support from companies and individuals such as Henry is increasingly vital to achieving the university’s educational mission.

“Because the state budget continues to be a challenge for us all, private support is increasingly critical for us to maintain, and enhance, the quality of SDSU programs and services,” Weber said. “Thanks to Mr. Henry, the SDSU BioScience Center will be able to immediately attract the top-echelon researcher and administrator needed to achieve its research and educational goals.”

CONTACT: Aaron Hoskins, SDSU Marketing & Communications, (619) 594-1119,

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