USF announces naming of The John & Toni Murray Research Center

August 7, 2019

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – In recognition of a generous commitment of $3 million, the University of Saint Francis will name the expansion of the Achatz Hall of Science in honor of John and Toni Murray.

The expanded portion of Achatz Hall of Science will be known as The John & Toni Murray Research Center. Toni Murray presented her gift to the university in recognition and honor of her late husband John Murray and late mother Wanda P. Ciemielewski.

“The University of Saint Francis is blessed to have a generous alumna and friend in Toni Murray, and we want to express our heartfelt gratitude to her,” USF President Sister M. Elise Kriss said. “Toni’s support for USF, both with her time and her financial gifts, has made a long-lasting impact on USF students. We are pleased to honor her commitment with the naming of The John & Toni Murray Research Center.”

Toni Murray, who earned a bachelor’s degree in education from USF in 1971 and a master’s in 1972, has been a faithful supporter and friend of the university, including creating multiple scholarships, funding an Education Lab for teacher candidates, sponsoring USF theatrical performances, in addition to giving time and resources to many other endeavors on campus. Murray was a school teacher for 39 years and is a lifelong volunteer in the community. She was co-owner of Industrial Tool Grinding in Waynedale with her husband, taking over the business when he died. Her list of volunteer activities is nearly endless.

“When I graduated and started working as a teacher, my mother suggested I share my first gift,” Toni Murray said. “That first gift wasn’t much, but it was important to me. I wanted to support my college. Saint Francis made it possible for me to become a teacher. Now many years later, I am able to make a bigger impact. I still hear my mother’s voice encouraging me to support the university. It’s in her honor that l wanted to help with the new science building. I’m also grateful that I can support scholarships and other programs for USF students too. And with Sister Elise’s retirement next spring, I’m honored that my gift to USF will help towards the completion of the Faith and Reason Campaign as a way to honor her legacy.”

The Achatz Hall of Science and John & Toni Murray Research Center underwent a renovation and expansion beginning in 2017. The expansion of the new John & Toni Murray Research Center was completed last spring and the renovation is expected to be completed this fall. The facility expansion added 25,700 square feet onto the 46,000 square feet of renovated space. A partial list of upgrades includes five additional science labs, a new computer science lab, a bigger computer lab, three additional classrooms, two conference rooms, more study areas and a variety of amenities.

Founded in 1890 in the Catholic Franciscan tradition, the University of Saint Francis offers more than 70 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs through the School of Health Sciences, School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Keith Busse School of Business and Entrepreneurial Leadership and School of Creative Arts. In addition to its traditional programs, USF designs focused curricula for working adults in Fort Wayne, Crown Point and online. USF Downtown houses the university’s business and music technology programs while offering enhanced internship and networking opportunities for students. The University of Saint Francis campus experience includes 18 athletic programs boasting two individual and four team NAIA national championships and is recognized as an NAIA Five-Star Champion of Character institution. Approximately 2,200 students from a broad geographic region attend USF.