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$1.5M donation creates biomedical research lab endowment at YSU

The university’s We See Tomorrow campaign has exceeded $100 million.
YSU 12102019
Eleanor Watanakunakorn’s $1.5 million donation pushes Youngstown State University’s We See Tomorrow fundraising campaign over $100 million. (Photo by William D. Lewis)

YOUNGSTOWN — Eleanor Watanakunakorn has donated $1.5 million to Youngstown State University’s We See Tomorrow campaign to endow a biomedical research lab in the College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

The endowment will support students performing undergraduate research in the biological/biomedical field for the YSU Summer Undergraduate Research Program, according to a news release. The program is aimed at engaging undergraduate students in research during the summer for a period of eight weeks. The endowment targets students enrolled in the BachMed or pre-med programs at YSU.

“All of us at YSU thank Mrs. Watanakunakorn for her generosity and continued support of the university and our students,” YSU President Jim Tressel said.

With Watanakunakorn’s donation, YSU’s We See Tomorrow fundraising campaign has exceeded $100 million. The campaign, the largest in the university’s history, is a seven-year effort designed to elevate the academic stature of YSU, increase access for students through additional scholarship aid and enhance the living and learning environment of campus to embrace the technological advancements in the 21st century.

Watanakunakorn is a long-standing philanthropic leader in the Mahoning Valley and beyond. In 2014, she was recognized as Outstanding Philanthropist by the Association of Fundraising Professionals Mahoning-Shenango Chapter National Philanthropy Day Awards.