Newark native grows STAR campus for students, business and families

As the University of Delaware’s Science, Technology & Advanced Research (STAR) Campus continues to grow, Kathleen Matt gets reflective.

One of the early visionaries of the STAR Campus with former UD President Patrick Harker, Matt grew up in Newark, thanks to her father, who chose the college town because he wanted his family to benefit from its resources and influence.

“I think about that a lot,” said Matt. “What can we bring to the community and what can the community bring to us? We have an opportunity with this space to create something really unique.”

It’s been three years since the STAR Campus was transformed from the shell of the old Chrysler assembly plant. Now, the 272-acre campus is home to wet lab space for Delaware Technology Park, as well as companies like Bloom Energy and SevOne.

“We knew this would be a site that would involve collaboration of academics with business and the community, and all of that driving innovation,” Matt said.

The university’s Health Sciences Complex is also housed at the site, where Matt said students conveniently move from classroom setting to clinic. And, in between, they’re moving among business professionals and researchers.

And more is coming. The nearby Newark Train Station will soon undergo a $50 million transformation, while on the south side of the STAR Campus, the skeleton framework of a 10-story tower is taking shape.

The office tower — scheduled to open in 2018 — will house a large atrium and auditorium space on the first floor, additional space for the College of Health Sciences on floors two through seven, with the remaining
floors open to tenants.

“Institutions of higher learning could and should be vehicles for economic development,” Matt said. “UD is exactly that … and STAR is a critical arm of that development.”

“The College of Health Sciences and the University of Delaware, with our focus on education and research, are training the next generation of leaders across the industries. It’s an exciting time. There’s a lot happening.”

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