Troy University’s Dothan campus is receiving a $150,000 donation from Michelin North America for the construction of a creative classroom geared toward promoting entrepreneurship.
According to its website, “Michelin North America is a $10.76 billion dollar a year company operating 19 plants in 16 locations and employs 22,000 people. It manufactures and sells tires for airplanes, automobiles, farm equipment, heavy duty trucks, motorcycles, and bicycles.”
Michelin North America has a site in Dothan where it manufactures light truck tires.
The donation will be used to create a whiteboard room “that will serve as a center for collaboration, creativity and innovation,” according to a university press release.
“We are calling it a white board room, but that really doesn’t describe it,” said Walter Givhan, senior vice chancellor for advancement and economic development.
“The idea is to remove all impediments to collaboration to fuel creativity. So you can move things around, you’ve got places to write, you got ways to gather people together, all the ways to facilitate this kind of creative process that is necessary for entrepreneurship.”
Givhan said that Michelin America and Troy University have had a history of partnership, with the former sponsoring the construction of rooms at the Dothan campus previously.
“We have had a longstanding relationship and collaboration with Michelin America,” he said. “We’ve worked together. They have sponsored rooms already in our present buildings.”
“We had a meeting with them, and this really fit into their vision of what they were trying to do with entrepreneurs and others through a very creative interactive classroom which they sponsored,” he said.
The room will be a part of Coleman Hall, a new academic building that will be built on the Dothan campus. The room will be part of the university’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Economic Innovation.
There is no fixed date anticipated for the beginning of construction of Coleman Hall at present.
“We are raising funds right now, and we are little over 60 percent towards our goal,” Givhan said. “So I’m hoping that as soon as we get a little bit further along we can break ground.”
The donation is being presented during a ceremony on Friday, Sept. 18, in Dothan. Phillip Kelly, human resources manager for Michelin North America’s manufacturing facility in Dothan, and Orrin “Skip” Ames, vice chancellor for Troy University’s Dothan campus, will be speaking at the event.