Lake Havasu campus funding meets goal to begin building

Lake Havasu City reached its fundraising goal on Aug. 29 to advance the Colleges@ASU initiative to offer ASU undergraduates the opportunity to take courses at a Lake Havasu campus.

A $1 million contribution by Mr. and Mrs. James Santiago, long-time residents of Lake Havasu, brought the campaign past its $2 million funding requirement, allowing ASU to begin the transformation of the former Daytona Middle School into a campus for ASU undergraduates.

“I am really excited about the Santiago’s contribution,” Arizona Board of Regents member Bob McLendon said. “It has been entirely a community effort and I am excited to see folks interested in putting this campus at Lake Havasu.”

McLendon said Colleges@ASU came about out of interest from the Lake Havasu community hoping to provide students access to both affordable and local post-secondary education.

“The Arizona Board of Regents has raised tuition to try to keep up with the quality of education,” McLendon said. “We have reached the point where we will do anything to make college affordable.”

The campus is set to open in fall 2012 for freshmen and transfer students.  Students can apply for degrees in communications, psychology, life sciences, and general studies.

ASU Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs David Young said Colleges@ASU allows students to receive an ASU education at an affordable cost.  Unlike the four research campuses around the Valley, the Lake Havasu campus will have lower tuition by offering less expensive degrees, Young said.

“It is a pretty exciting opportunity, the community stepped up to the plate and now it is full speed ahead,” Young said.

Communications sophomore Holly Marksbury has visited Lake Havasu several times with her family. Marksbury said though her major will be offered at the new campus, she would not consider transferring.

“I think it’s good for ASU to expand even further,” Marksbury said. “Though, I would probably not consider transferring just because I love being in Tempe.”

McLendon said this is just the start of expanding Arizona universities around the state and similar plans are being made with UA and NAU.

“One of the main things (ABOR) want(s) to do is make sure students have access to an education that is affordable, accountable and accessible,” McLendon said.

Reach the reporter at newlin.tillotson@asu.edu

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