Wilkes-Barre, PA – On October 4, 2019, King’s College held a dedication ceremony honoring the seven-figure gift from William and Eileen Mulligan to create a major academic facility that is now the home of the College’s new mechanical and civil engineering programs, aptly named the Mulligan Center for Engineering. The Mulligans’ gift enabled the College to renovate and expand the historic Spring Brook building, located at 30 North Franklin Street in downtown Wilkes-Barre, into a highly specialized learning center to meet the demands of the engineering programs. The Mulligan Center for Engineering was designed to accommodate the projected growth of the new programs and to serve as a hub for future STEM-related instruction at King’s.
This wonderful dedication was tempered by the loss of Bill Mulligan, who passed away on December 19, 2017.
“Bill Mulligan was a visionary, both as a businessman and a philanthropist,” said Rev. John J. Ryan, C.S.C., King’s College President. “I share the news of this wonderful commitment with mixed feelings of sadness and gratitude. Sadness because King’s lost one of our dearest friends and most generous benefactors in Bill Mulligan. Bill was a son of the Wyoming Valley who rose to experience impressive professional success, and he became one of the College’s greatest philanthropists. I also feel gratitude for Bill’s and Eileen’s longtime generosity, and in a special way, through this commitment to our school in the form of a gift to name King’s new engineering building. While we all continue to feel the loss of Bill acutely, his family’s good name takes an even more prominent place at our school and in the Wyoming Valley through this wonderful gift.”
Before Mulligan’s passing, he shared some reflections on the meaning behind this gift.
“As a native of the Wyoming Valley, I have long been an admirer of King’s and its mission. As an engineer, I have long advocated for King’s to begin an engineering program. It has been very exciting to watch King’s enter the engineering space through its strategic partnership with the University of Notre Dame,” said Mr. Mulligan. “As King’s now begins its own four-year engineering program, Eileen and I are thrilled to support this important initiative. Having our family name forever associated with future King’s engineers in the Wyoming Valley is very exciting and gratifying for us,” he remarked.
The now-completed transformation of the Spring Brook building into the Mulligan Center for Engineering expands the existing 16,000-square-foot property, which dates back to 1910, to accommodate four large multi-use classrooms, student study areas, faculty offices, and five fully equipped engineering laboratories.
A leader in the construction industry and long-time senior executive of Ingersoll-Rand, Bill Mulligan long advocated bringing engineering to King’s. This gift in support of the new engineering facility is only the latest example of the Mulligans’ inspired and transformational philanthropy to the College. Their generosity made possible the renovation of King’s science building, which also bears their family name as The Mulligan Physical Sciences Center. In addition, they established the William and Eileen Mulligan Scholarship, designed to support highly motivated local engineering students in need of financial assistance. The Mulligans’ commitment to the College is especially remarkable, considering neither studied at King’s (Bill earned a bachelor’s degree from Lafayette College and Eileen earned a bachelor’s degree from Marymount College).
While supportive of higher education in general, the Mulligans have expressed a special interest in Catholic education, and their gifts to the College express their desire to share their good fortune in a way that benefits Catholic education in the Wyoming Valley. This commitment reflects the importance Mr. Mulligan placed on the Catholic values he was raised with at home and at St. Ignatius Parish in Kingston, which were instrumental to his success in life.
The Mulligan Center for Engineering is one of the latest investments by King’s College in downtown Wilkes-Barre, joining the King’s on the Square facility, which opened in 2014, Alumni Hall, and the recently dedicated Chapel of Christ the King on North Street. These projects reflect King’s deep commitment to the economic, educational, and cultural vitality of Wilkes-Barre and the Wyoming Valley.