Donation of $7.5 million will help build new auditorium on CMU campus

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Richard P. Simmons, chairman emeritus of Allegheny Technologies Inc., is donating $7.5 million to Carnegie Mellon University to help build a new auditorium on the planned David A. Tepper Quadrangle, officials announced today.

What will be called the Simmons Auditorium will become the biggest auditorium space on the Oakland campus, and it will add to Carnegie Mellon’s ability to bring in major speakers and other events, the university said. The building will also be used for classes and for other university activities.

“We are very grateful to Dick and Ginny Simmons for this generous gift,” Carnegie Mellon President Subra Suresh said in a statement announcing the gift. “This auditorium will be a spectacular space that will anchor the Tepper Quad’s multidisciplinary purposes as the center for major conferences, speeches, classes and performances. It fills an enormous need for CMU and Pittsburgh.”

Carnegie Mellon officials pointed out that Mr. Suresh occupied the Richard P. Simmons Endowed Chair in Materials Science and Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for nearly a decade beginnig in 1993.

Mr. Simmons is chairman of the board and a life trustee of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. He is a past chairman and executive committee member of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development and past chairman of the United Way of Allegheny County.

Bill Schackner:, 412-263-1977 and on Twitter: @BschacknerPG. First Published June 19, 2014 12:00 AM

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