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“It’s the story of two minds, one destiny,” Terrill said of ASU President Michael Crow and former Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon. “These two leaders shared a common vision of bringing a major university to the downtown area and did it in less than three years.”
Terrill traced the genesis of the project when Crow and Gordon met for breakfast at a Phoenix eatery in the spring of 2003. They sketched the future of the campus on a plain white restaurant napkin to build an environment to attract a “creative class” – people who would build a knowledge industry and develop technologies to nourish Arizona in the 21st century.
The napkin became ASU’s visionary blueprint for the consummate urban college experience – a campus geared toward city-minded students attracted to internships, mentoring, professional networking and service-oriented careers in government, media, nonprofit, medical and legal fields.
On March 14, 2006, Phoenix voters did what the citizens of no other city had done: they made an unprecedented investment in a state university by approving the sale of $223 million in bonds to finance the construction of the downtown Phoenix campus. The bond easily passed with 66 percent of the vote.
A mere five months after the historic bond election, ASU’s Downtown Phoenix campus welcomed more than 3,000 full-time and 6,000 part-time students. The partnership between ASU and the city of Phoenix created jobs, increased public revenue and private investment, stimulated local businesses, improved social services, and offered educational opportunities that will influence generations to come.
The campus began its fifth year of operation in August 2011, with approximately 9,300 full-time students. Future projects include a student union, a new Student Resource Center, a third residential tower at Taylor Place, and eventually, the future home of the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law.
The e-publication currently is available for download at www.asu.edu/firstfive/ebook.pdf.