BRUNSWICK, Maine — A $10 million gift from Bowdoin College board member David Roux and his wife, Barbara Roux, will fund a new environmental studies building slated to open on campus in late 2018.
Construction of the tentatively named Roux Center for the Environment is scheduled to begin in May 2017 at the corner of Harpswell Road and College Street — the former site of Lancaster House and, prior to that, Alpha Kappa Sigma fraternity house, according to a release from Bowdoin. First, the project must undergo review by the Bowdoin College board of trustees and Brunswick regulatory agencies.
David Roux is the brother of James M. Roux, a 1981 Bowdoin College graduate and Portland attorney who was a passenger on United Airlines Flight 175 from Boston, which crashed into the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.
Bowdoin President Clayton Rose on Tuesday called the gift “transformative,” and said the new center would “bring together scholars and students from across the sciences, social sciences and humanities.”
Bowdoin’s environmental program includes faculty and students in the Environmental Studies Program, the Department of Earth and Oceanographic Science, the Arctic Studies Program, and in economics, government and legal studies, biology and chemistry, among others. Ongoing research takes place on the Bowdoin campus, as well as at the Coastal Studies Center on Orr’s Island in Harpswell and the Bowdoin Scientific Station on three islands in the Bay of Fundy. According to the release, a portion of 250 acres acquired by the college at the former Brunswick Naval Air Station is likely to be devoted to environmental studies and other science programs.
The center, expected to open near the end of 2018, will be guided by a committee of faculty, staff and students. The building will be designed by Cambridge Seven Associates.
“Our gift is not about the building itself, but rather about the opportunities for the critical work that can be done there,” David Roux said in the release.
“With this support, we are confident Bowdoin will be able to further expand its focus on the environment, educating and motivating a new generation of scientists and policy makers to meet the world’s great environmental challenges,” Barbara Roux said.
David Roux is co-founder, senior director and former chief executive officer of Silver Lake Group, a global technology investment firm. He was formerly executive vice president at Oracle and senior vice president at Lotus Development, among other positions. Roux is chairman of the board of trustees at the Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor and a board member at the National Audubon Society.
David Roux’s father, Donald Roux, also graduated from Bowdoin College, along with his sister, Mary Roux Train, and the couple’s daughter, Margot Roux, who graduated in 2014. David Roux’s mother, Constance Roux, was the sister of former Maine Gov. James Longley, according to the release.