Dr. Samuel Shaheen, ’88, donates $1 million to Albion

July 31, 2023

Dr. Samuel Shaheen, ’88, has donated $1 million in honor of STEM education at his alma mater, Albion College.

The gift will be commemorated and recognized in the Science Complex, which houses the chemistry and biochemistry, biology, mathematics and computer science, kinesiology, earth and environment and physics departments. Approximately 500 students are STEM majors at the private liberal arts college, including 372 students in pre-health professions as part of the Lisa and James Wilson Institute for Medicine.

The four buildings in the Science Complex are joined by a 7,000-square-foot atrium, which will be named the Dr. Samuel and Holly Shaheen Family Science Atrium in honor of Shaheen’s donation. More than 90% of the classrooms and offices in the complex have views of the atrium or to the outdoors, reflecting the importance of natural light and surroundings. The atrium is a popular study space for students, who can work individually or collaboratively.

“My pre-medical, liberal arts education prepared me for an outstanding professional career in medicine,” said Shaheen, professor of surgery at Central Michigan University College of Medicine and president and CEO of CMU Medical Education, both in Saginaw. “I credit my success to the relationships formed and the lessons learned while a student at Albion College. This donation will support pre-med, pre-health and science students to ensure they have access to professors, programs and facilities that will set them up for success.

“The professional career of a physician is really important and sacred. Patients and their families entrust you with the most valuable part of their life: their own personal health and well-being. That was always meaningful to me, and something I still keep at the center of what I do today.”

A native of Saginaw, Shaheen came to Albion College in 1984 and enrolled in the pre-med program. He credits the academic stimulation from the science faculty, in particular those in biology and organic chemistry, as providing an “invaluable experience” that prepared him for success in medical school at the University of Michigan and his residency at McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University.

The Science Complex was dedicated in 2006 when Kresge Hall was built. The creation of the atrium joined Kresge with Norris, Palenske and Putnam halls. The four-story, glass-walled atrium has become a natural and inviting gathering space used for awards ceremonies, celebrations, student showcases, conferences and other events. It features a nine-part sculpture suspended from the ceiling and a grand staircase made of lumber from trees removed during the construction process.

The Science Complex was the first building on campus to be built according to sustainable building practices established by the U.S. Green Building Council. When completed, the Science Complex received silver certification from the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, green building rating system. LEED certification signifies the designers and builders paid attention to sustainability, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental health.

“We are deeply grateful for this generous contribution from Dr. Shaheen,” said Albion President Wayne Webster. “He has consistently supported Albion College with his time, talents and treasure. His support serves as an inspiration for the entire campus community.

“It is fitting we recognize this gift in a facility that so closely matches Dr. Shaheen’s career which was inspired by his time as a student on our campus. Dr. Shaheen shared he really wanted to do something to support the sustainability of the College, which made this donation and naming opportunity a perfect fit.”

“Science on Display” was a guiding theme in the development of the complex, which was supported by more than 1,000 donors and several grants. In addition to giving most classrooms and offices views of the outside or atrium, the building’s windows also give visitors a glimpse of what is going on in the laboratories and other learning environments. Research space for all disciplines is found throughout the building.

The Science Complex is where students of the Wilson Medical Institute take classes. The Wilson Institute got its start in 2018 when Dr. Wilson, ’77, and his wife, Lisa, ’79, created this landmark program to provide students interested in pre-medical education the opportunity to participate in transformative experience education. One of six institutes and centers at the College, the Wilson Institute provides assistance with career exploration, job shadows and internships, graduate and professional school admission, research opportunities and mentoring.

“Dr. Wilson’s significant investment helped support his vision for our pre-medical curriculum,” Shaheen explained. “He inspired me, and I hope I can inspire others to give back to the College that gave us so much. There are still naming opportunities with the Science Complex – or whatever program meant something to our alumni – for those considering a donation.”

Visit albion.edu/premed or more information on pre-medical education at Albion College. More information on giving opportunities can be found at albion.edu/giving.