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Building a legacy

Del E. Webb Foundation board members

Del E. Webb Foundation board members (left to right) Jean Canoose, John B. Lees, Larry Johnson, Sheilia Johnson, Nicole Aubin and John W. Smith

“We go for results,” says Larry Johnson, president of the Del E. Webb Foundation.

The foundation has long been a part of the success of the Del E. Webb School of Construction program, establishing a $4 million endowment over twenty years ago. Today the program is one of the top in the nation.

“At the time, there was a lot of construction going on in the Valley,” Johnson says. “We saw really phenomenal people coming out of the school—serious people who had not just gone to school for an education, but came to ASU for the education the construction school offers.”

The endowment has provided support for research, scholarships and equipment.

He notes that the endowment is a flagship grant for the foundation. “We look at the money we gave years ago, and are still seeing results. The school is producing leaders, builders that will be building the infrastructure required for a civilized society.”

This year, the foundation furthered its investment in the future of construction by committing $2 million in funding for new, state-of-the-art facilities needed to accommodate student growth and continue to advance the program’s leadership in the field.

The new building will exemplify the innovative, sustainable design principles championed by the Del E. Webb Construction Company. Plastic walls will enable students to see the wiring and infrastructure that goes into building, and high-tech labs and teaching spaces will allow students to see how the building operates.

“We are quite proud of the legacy we are building with ASU,” says Johnson. “And we are honored to give such recognition to Del Webb.”

Webb built his construction company during difficult economic times into one of the largest in Arizona. His notable projects include the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas, Madison Square Garden in New York City and the Sun City development in Arizona. Perhaps less known is that he was an owner of the New York Yankees for 20 years—during which the team won the World Series ten times.

Johnson says that DEWSC’s programs mirror Webb’s commitment to innovation and team-building.

“I have gone to E2 Camp and the team-building that is instilled early on is something that I have not seen anywhere else. Industry participation in the program is giving students teaching out of real life,” he says. “People come from all over the world for this education.”

“There are many places that have the Del Webb name, but nothing quite like the school. He was a good man, a good builder. Throughout his life, he instilled a sense of loyalty and commitment to people who sincerely want to work. We continue that legacy through the foundation,” says Johnson.

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