Skip to main content

Westminster receives $1 million gift for final phase of Hoyt Science Center project

Share on:

Posted on Friday, April 12, 2024

Westminster College announced a generous $1 million lead challenge gift from alumni donors Will and Carol Jean Young Maurer designated to encourage additional contributions toward the last phase of the Hoyt Science Center Renovation and Expansion Project.

To honor the Maurers, the College unveiled and dedicated the Maurer Atrium, located within Hoyt Science Center’s expanded wing, on Friday, April 12. Westminster College President Dr. Kathy Brittain Richardson formally announced the Maurers’ gift during the ceremony.

“Bill and his wife, C.J., have given $1 million to help inspire and challenge additional giving amongst their alumni peers. And for years to come, the students, faculty, staff and guests who study, teach, research and meet in this beautiful atrium will recognize your generosity and their vision,” Richardson said.  “Their transformative gift is a true example of Titan-sized generosity, and we are truly grateful for their support of their alma mater.”

The Maurers, who reside in Westmoreland County’s Rostraver Township, Pa., both earned Bachelor of Science degrees from Westminster College—Mr. Maurer in 1953 with a degree in economics, and Mrs. Maurer in 1962 with a degree in business administration.

The Maurers’ gift has been designated for the Hoyt Science Center Renovation and Expansion project. Along with additional challenge gifts received, the gift will be used to complete the fourth and final phase of the project, which includes the creation of a high-fidelity nursing simulation lab, establishing the Harms Center for the Environment, updates to the computer science, mathematics, psychology, neuroscience and physics offices, labs and classrooms, the addition of an exercise science lab, and major mechanical updates.

The Maurers have been long-time supporters of Westminster and have provided significant contributions to various campus projects including the construction of the Berlin Village townhouses, renovations to Burry Stadium and the creation of the Class of 1953 Reunion Fund.

“One of Mr. Maurer’s most enduring legacies, however, is found in his dedication to providing students the opportunity to prepare for meaningful and impactful lives with a major portion of his gifts directed to the endowed Maurer Scholarship, ensuring that future generations have access to opportunities he once cherished,” said Richardson.

The scholarship, established in 2017, provides scholarship assistance to incoming first-year students from Belle Vernon Area High School or Elizabeth Forward High School.

In addition to President Richardson’s remarks at the ceremony, Mr. Maurer took to the podium and expressed the Maurers’ affection for Westminster and reminded the crowd to “be kind to Westminster.” The ceremony also featured speakers Dr. Jamie McMinn, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the college; Dr. Deanne Buffalari, chair of the Department of Psychology; and Taylor Harman, a senior neuroscience major from Edinburg, Pa.

The Hoyt Science Center Expansion and Renovation Project began in 2017. Phases one and two created the College’s nursing and neuroscience facilities and the Dietz Sullivan Lecture Hall, as well as other structural and aesthetic renovations and upgrades.  Fall 2021 marked the completion of the third phase—the construction of a 27,000-square-foot expansion wing that now houses the chemistry and biochemistry departments. The original Hoyt building was constructed in 1974 with an addition built in the 1980s.

To learn more about or to contribute to the Hoyt Science Center project, please visit

Top photo: Bill and C.J. Maurer, right, beside the Maurer Atrium's new signage. Also pictured at left are Dr. Jamie McMinn, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the college, and Westminster College President Dr. Kathy Brittain Richardson.

Second photo: A view of the Maurer Atrium from the second floor.

Third photo: The Maurers, right, pose with, from left, Dr. Deanne Buffalari, chair of the psychology department; President Richardson; and senior Taylor Harman.

Bottom photo: The Maurers admire the new signage in the Maurer Atrium.