News from
Communications and Publications, Stanhope Hall
Princeton, New Jersey 08544
Tel 609/258-3601; Fax 609/258-1301

Date: May 10, 1996
Contact: Jacquelyn Savani 609/258-5729

Reynolds Foundation Gives Physics Auditorium at Princeton

Princeton, N.J. -- A $1 million gift for a new state-of-the-art auditorium for the teaching of physics was announced today by Princeton University. The gift is from the Richard S. Reynolds Foundation of Richmond, Va., which was created by the founder of the Reynolds Metals Company and has a long history of strong support for Princeton's annual giving campaigns.

"Support for education in the sciences is especially vital today, when developing the scientific and technological literacy of all of our students is a top priority," said Princeton University President Harold T. Shapiro. "Since two-thirds of all undergraduates take a physics course during their four years, this splendid gift from the Reynolds Foundation will help us achieve that essential goal, and we are most grateful."

The Reynolds family has extensive Princeton ties over three generations, including David P. Reynolds of the Princeton Class of 1938; his nephews Richard S. (Major) Reynolds III, Class of 1956, and the late J. Sargeant Reynolds, Class of 1958; and Sargeant Reynolds's son R. Roland Reynolds, Class of 1993. Both David and Major Reynolds serve as trustees for the Reynolds Foundation, with family members William G. Reynolds, Jr., also of Richmond and Mrs. J.W.Y. Martin of Baltimore, Md. Reynolds Metals, whose aluminum products range from Reynolds Wrap household foil and beverage cans to aircraft and automotive components and building and construction materials, has long been an industry leader in mining, manufacturing and applied technology.

"We are delighted to make this gift to Princeton," said David Reynolds of the Class of 1938, Chairman Emeritus of Reynolds Metals. "My family and I are honored to be connected with Princeton's premier physics program, which is training the scientists and engineers of the future. We are very proud that this exciting new facility will bear the Reynolds family name."

"This is a wonderful way to touch the lives of a majority of Princeton undergraduates who will use the new auditorium in the Physics Building," said Major Reynolds of the Class of 1956, Secretary and Director of the Reynolds Foundation. "Speaking for myself and the other trustees of the Reynolds Foundation, we are very pleased to support the opportunities Princeton offers for students to learn from the very best teachers, including Nobel laureates."

The new auditorium, seating about 300 students, is the central facility in a new building for teaching undergraduate physics at Princeton. Reynolds Auditorium will hold large lecture classes, which feature the demonstrations of physical phenomena for which Princeton's Physics Department is renowned -- as in showing the effects of gravity by dropping objects from the ceiling or
catapulting them across a lecture hall. To facilitate such large-scale demonstrations, the auditorium is specially designed with a rotating stage and "backstage" space for setup of equipment.

The new auditorium will also provide state-of-the-art technology for instruction and demonstration, including rear projection systems that accommodate slides, overheads, video and computer displays. The latter will allow measurements of motions, electronic signals and other phenomena to be displayed in "real time" during demonstrations and experiments. Reynolds Auditorium will also be used for lectures, academic conferences and other events in a variety of disciplines.

Reynolds Auditorium will occupy most of the ground and first floors of the new four-level physics building designed by renowned architect Charles Gwathmey of Gwathmey Siegel and Associates. The new facility will be a major center for undergraduate learning in the sciences at Princeton, serving some
650 students each year in introductory physics as well as hundreds more in mathematics courses. Besides the auditorium, the structure will include a second, smaller lecture hall, classrooms and teaching laboratories. The building will be named in honor of James S. McDonnell of the Princeton Class of 1921, founder of McDonnell Aircraft Corp., now the McDonnell Douglas Corp.

This project is part of the expansion and modernization of science facilities included in the fund-raising efforts of the five-year Anniversary Campaign for Princeton, which celebrates the 250th anniversary of the University's founding in 1746. The total Anniversary Campaign goal of $750 million includes both unrestricted support through the University's Annual Giving program and capital funds for construction, endowment and term projects.