Valero gives $500,000 for Challenger Learning Center
‘Mission’ for a Challenger Learning Center at SAC takes off with a leadership gift from San Antonio-based, corporate leader
SAN ANTONIO, TX (Oct. 29, 2012) — San Antonio College (SAC) has received a $500,000 gift from the Valero Energy Foundation in support of the construction of a Challenger Learning Center (CLC) at San Antonio College. With this early leadership gift, Valero demonstrates a strong commitment to the future of San Antonio’s young people and families.
The Challenger Learning Center at San Antonio College will be a unique catalyst for offering educational and community resources, accessible to all, through a focus on scientific literacy and life-changing learning. With the height of approximately 58 feet, the Challenger Learning Center will become the second tallest building on the SAC campus and will change the skyline of San Antonio College and the city. The Center will offer the city an innovative approach to experiential learning in the STEM fields. As well as serving young students, the Center will also be equipped to provide corporate team training opportunities for community members and organizations.
The Valero Energy Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Valero Energy Corporation, an international manufacturer and marketer of transportation fuel, based in San Antonio. With this opening gift, Valero has helped San Antonio College launch the $7 million capital campaign.
“We are honored to help kick off this capital campaign for such an important educational project in our community,” said Julia Rendon Reinhart, Valero’s Vice President of Corporate Communications. “San Antonio and our country are at a critical point in math and science education. The Challenger Learning Center will certainly be an inspiration to many kids who have not had the opportunity to experience science in such a hands-on and interesting way. It is also a fitting tribute to the Challenger mission, and we are proud to be a part.”
Understanding the special needs for human services in San Antonio, SAC’s aim with the CLC is to expand the scope of the programming beyond the ‘classic’ missions model used nationally at other centers. “The wide range of STEM programs offered at SAC educate and train people of all ages and backgrounds. With a customized Challenger Learning Center, SAC aspires to become the city’s hub of STEM education and will deliver even further benefit to the community with the CLC’s unique capacity to provide experiential learning,” said Dr. Robert Zeigler, president of San Antonio College.
Charles E. Cheever Jr., Chairman Emeritus of Broadway Bancshares Inc., is serving as the General Chair of the campaign committee. Chris Cheever, Senior Vice President of Broadway Bank, is the campaign’s Leadership Chair. The Cheevers join Dr. June Scobee Rodgers who is the campaign’s Honorary Chair.
Construction of the nearly 22,000-square-foot Scobee Planetarium and Challenger Learning Center complex began in May and is slated to be complete in fall 2013.
Construction continues on the Scobee Planetarium (right).