Today, Marian University leaders and special guests gathered together to break ground on the new E. S. Witchger School of Engineering, opening to its first class of students in fall 2022.
The E. S. Witchger School of Engineering will expand Marian University’s vision as a Catholic university to offer Bachelor of Engineering degrees rooted in the liberal arts tradition with the goal of graduating a diverse pipeline of talented leaders. The school will offer degrees in in biomedical, chemical, civil, computer, electrical, and mechanical engineering to prepare students to become engineering leaders with strong liberal arts competencies. One of the school’s top priorities is to offer competitive scholarships to attract the diverse population needed for future engineers and graduate these students into high-need positions.
“The Marian University community is committed to our mission of being a great Catholic university dedicated to providing students with excellent teaching and learning in the Franciscan and liberal arts tradition,” Marian University President Daniel J. Elsener said. “The E. S. Witchger School of Engineering will contribute to this vision by educating and graduating more leaders who emphasize trustworthiness, a healthy approach to life, inquisitiveness, and the skills needed to lead in the twenty-first century.”
Marian has experienced a 40 percent growth over the past four years in STEHM programs—biology, chemistry, mathematics, computer science, exercise and sports science—while doubling the growth in its current dual-degree engineering program with Purdue University, which currently has 59 students enrolled. Marian University will continue the dual-degree option with Purdue University for students interested in specialty engineering programs but who also want the Marian experience.
Binh Q. Tran, Ph.D., will serve as the school’s founding dean. Dr. Tran is nationally recognized for his research and academic areas of focus in telehealth/telemedicine, health information technologies, biomedical instrumentation, and imaging and cardio-pulmonary biomechanics, in addition to serving on the editorial board of several engineering journals.
The E. S. Witchger School of Engineering was funded through $25 million in startup donations, including a generous lead gift of $24 million from the E. S. Witchger family, who owns and operates Indianapolis-based Marian, Inc., a global provider of custom, die-cut, flexible component parts for the medical, electronics, and automotive industries. Founded in 1954, Marian, Inc. has 10 locations throughout North America, Asia, and Europe. A total of $26.3 million has been raised toward the goal of $65 million.
Marian University will seek approval from the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), which can be obtained after the program produces its first graduating class.
Faculty interested in being a part of this dynamic venture and students interested in learning more or enrolling in the E. S. Witchger School of Engineering may visit marian.edu