Philanthropists Patricia and Bruce Bartlett have committed $5 million to renovate the University of Arizona’s Strategic Alternative Learning Techniques Center and fund an initiative for providing innovative support and learning services for all students.
Of the $5 million gift, $2.7 million will be used to renovate and expand the SALT Center, which is housed in the Patricia A. Bartlett Building on the UA campus. The remaining $2.3 million is designated for new student services and learning spaces located in and around Bear Down Gymnasium, the UA Main Library and the Integrated Learning Center.
"The Bartletts are true philanthropists," said Rudy Molina, director of the SALT Center. "They see the transformational impact a gift like this can have on our students."
Since 1980, the SALT Center has provided comprehensive academic support services to aid UA students with learning and attention challenges. Today, the SALT Center is internationally recognized as a model for academic support in higher education. More than 550 UA students use the SALT Center’s services – such as tutoring, educational planning and workshops – to help fulfill their dream of earning a college degree.
Patricia Bartlett said expanding the SALT Center will help provide greater access to students who want to be a part of the program and receive the services they need to be successful.
"The SALT Center is truly one of the sparkling gems at the UA," she said. "You can really see and feel the passion of the people who are there to support and help students achieve real academic success."
The renovation and expansion will enable the SALT Center to serve more students and create a communal space for facilitating learning in a more relaxed and comfortable environment. In order to create a new lobby where students can meet with tutors and connect with their peers, the existing courtyard will be fully enclosed.
The first floor will have tutoring labs and greater connectivity for educational technology. Expansion on the second floor will include an enlarged tutoring area for one-on-one sessions, private study rooms and updated work spaces for team members.
The Bartletts' gift is in addition to a $2 million donation they made in 2012. In honor of their support, the SALT Center building was renamed after Patricia Bartlett.
"The UA is fortunate to have Patricia and Bruce Bartlett as longtime and incredibly dedicated partners," UA President Ann Weaver Hart said. "This gift will build on their already transformational legacy of support, develop the vital resources of the SALT Center, and enable innovative new services that will advance the UA’s goals in student retention and success. I am grateful for their support and look forward to the outcomes of this generous gift."
Patricia and Bruce Bartlett are former educators whose son, a UA alumnus, benefited from the SALT Center. Patricia taught elementary school, and Bruce began his career as a math teacher and then worked as a certified public accountant. Over 40 years, Bruce started several companies in the utilities, government, construction, steel manufacturing and nuclear energy sectors. He retired in 2004 from his nuclear services companies and is still the president of Deltak Manufacturing Inc., Excel Modular Scaffolding and Leasing Corp. and Global Construction Scaffold Services Inc.
The Bartletts' generosity puts the UA closer to its goal of raising $1.5 billion during the Arizona NOW campaign, which was launched publicly in April 2014 and concludes in June 2018. The comprehensive fundraising campaign is distinguished by its unprecedented scope as well as its ties to Never Settle, the UA’s strategic academic and business plan. To date and thanks to the generosity of more than 85,000 distinct donors, the campaign is well ahead of pace, with more than 85 percent of the goal already raised.