St. Mary’s Innovation Center in San Antonio, TX

Later this month, St. Mary’s University and its School of Science, Engineering and Technology will break ground on an interdisciplinary Innovation Center.

St. Mary's University

Plan B was a bake sale, but thanks to 11,000+ donors that won’t be necessary.

Photo by SATXtoday team

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A campaign five years in the making is starting to bear fruit at St. Mary’s University.

Announced in 2017 with a goal of $130 million — an unprecedented figure for the university — the Defining Moment Comprehensive Campaign closed in March 2022 at $165 million.

That’s a lot. The initial goal was larger than all previous campaigns combined. With that money, St. Mary’s has already established a $5.2 million Center for Catholic Studies, $58.8 million in new scholarship funding, and 14 new endowed academic positions.

St. Mary’s next big thing: the $15.5 million interdisciplinary Innovation Center.

Rendering of a workshop in the Innovation Center with people standing around two yellow robotic arms.

The high-tech amenities are designed to put students ahead.

Rendering via St. Mary’s University

The Innovation Center

Described as an “incubator for new ideas and programs,” the facility is a project of the university and its School of Science, Engineering and Technology. The interdisciplinary center will primarily cater to the sciences, with seven laboratories and two collaboration spaces.

According the the university, some areas of focus include:

  • Advanced manufacturing
  • Innovation and entrepreneurship
  • Data science and machine learning
  • Logistics and supply chain management
  • Human/computer interaction
  • Engineering design

No details have been announced as of yet regarding a “nursing simulation” mentioned in the TDLR public filing. What we do know is that the multi-story building weighs in at 27,000+ sqft, is expected to break ground later this month, and will be under construction until March 2024.

Rendering of the multi-story Innovation Center Building

If we were poets, we’d swear those windows are a metaphor for something.

Rendering via St. Mary’s University


Defining Moment has been a record-shattering campaign for St. Mary’s. Here’s some of where the Innovation Center’s funding came from:

  • $1 million from John Sieffert, an alum and co-founder of CBS Boring & Machine Company Inc. in Detroit, who noted the need for technology education in his own industry
  • $250,000 from Winston Erevelles, Ph.D, the professor + Dean Emeritus of the School of Science, Engineering, and Technology, and his wife Christine
  • $1 million from Charles E. Chewning of St. Louis in memory of his brother, Bill Chewning, who taught chemistry at St. Mary’s
  • 11,494 total donors, with 39 donating over $1 million + 4,886 under $100
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