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Join us in creating lasting impact

The Arntzen Auditorium Legacy fund will help ASU researchers and students thrive by making it possible to engage with world-renowned scientific leaders. Join us in providing this opportunity to current and future generations with a philanthropic investment. We are actively seeking $550,000 in contributions — to which Charles and Kathy Arntzen have generously committed $100,000 — in order to establish the Arntzen Auditorium in the Biodesign Institute.

We will use contributions to create a permanent endowment which will fund an annual visiting lectureship from a scientific leader. Our guest lecturer will collaborate on ideas with ASU scientists, engage with students and share recent findings with the community.

Who is Charles Arntzen?

The Biodesign Institute is a place where hundreds of scientists work together to solve some of life’s most vexing challenges and help people everywhere thrive. Paving the way for its culture of curiosity and creativity was Charles (Charlie) Arntzen, Founding Director of Biodesign. One of the hallmarks of Arntzen’s leadership was his emphasis on collaboration. This core value remains prominent today as biologists, physicists, chemists, engineers and mathematicians work together to answer questions such as: How can we detect diseases earlier? How do we protect and enhance our clean supply of land, water and food? How can we protect our citizens from acts of aggression?

Arntzen is an emeritus professor at ASU; previously, he was appointed the Florence Ely Nelson Presidential Endowed Chair and named a Regents’ Professor. In ASU’s Biodesign Institute and School of Life Sciences, he developed novel ways to manufacture pharmaceuticals and vaccines. He is internationally recognized for his work on using plants, like tobacco, to produce cost-effective medicines to meet the needs of developing nations.

One of his projects led to ZMapp, the current leading therapeutic for Ebola virus infections. A successful handoff to industrial collaborators helped save lives and led to an award by Fast Company Magazine, which recognized Arntzen as the “Most Creative Person in Business” in 2015.

Arntzen’s career achievements have been recognized in many ways, including an invitation to serve on the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology for George W. Bush, an appointment as Chairman of the National Biotechnology Policy Board of the National Institutes of Health, and a Superior Service Award from the United States Department of Agriculture.

The next chapter

Arntzen’s retirement in the fall of 2017 closed a chapter at the Biodesign Institute, but his pioneering spirit will live on. In recognition of his dedication to advancing scientific discovery and his legacy at ASU, we seek to rename the Biodesign Institute Auditorium as the Arntzen Auditorium. The auditorium is the most prominent and premier gathering space within the institute. It is a space where knowledge is created and disseminated, where creative thinking is stirred, where collaboration is the expectation, and where brilliant minds gather to seek solutions. It is the perfect space to bear the name of the man who laid the foundation for what the auditorium symbolizes and what the institution stands for today.