Wittenberg University’s Koch Hall, in 2016. JEFF GUERINI/STAFF

What a $10 million donation will do for Wittenberg University

Wittenberg University has received a $10 million donation to renovate its campus art building.

The liberal arts college is a major Springfield employer with an estimated $70 million impact on the region’s economy.

The donation is from Thomas Hagen and Sarah Hagen McWilliams. Sarah Hagen McWilliams majored in art history at Wittenberg, and the family has given several donations to the college over the years, Wittenberg President Mike Frandsen said.

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“The Hagen family has a long history at Wittenberg,” Frandsen said. “They have provided support for a number of initiatives over the years.”

The $10 million gift will be used to renovate Koch Hall’s classrooms to create a more welcoming, modern place for student learning and creative expression, the school said. The gift will also update Koch’s internal systems, including mechanical, electrical and HVAC, the school said.

The building has a long history of serving the local students but is now in need of upgrades, Frandsen said.

“It’s a fantastic building from the outside,” he said. “But as with all things, technology advances. We need to enhance the way the space can be used.”

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Wittenberg students are required to take art classes during their time at the school, Frandsen said. A lot of students take classes in the building, he said.

Planning is underway with a start date to be determined, the school said.

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