Friends University celebrates groundbreaking on $2 million addition for mechanical engineering and visual arts programs  

Friends University is excited to celebrate the groundbreaking of the new addition to the William Penn Science Building that will house the new $2 Million mechanical engineering and visual arts labs. The groundbreaking ceremony will take place on Friday, Feb. 24 at 3:30 p.m. beginning in the Edmund Stanley Library and moving outside.  

The mechanical engineering labs will provide two state-of-the-art facilities enabling students to conduct relevant, real-world experiments along with an art studio space that will provide visual art students a place to construct works of art. 

“This addition to our science building collaboratively supports our students by giving our art and engineering students a dynamic, hands-on learning experience to meet the needs of the 21st century workforce.” said Dr. Amy Bragg Carey, president of Friends University. “Mechanical engineering is a newer academic program at Friends University that has seen significant growth since its inception. We are dedicated to distinguishing this program and supporting the growing demands of Wichita and our industry while molding young engineers of moral character.” 

Friends University launched a mechanical engineering program in 2019 and saw its first graduating class in 2021. The addition of the two mechanical engineering labs will meet the American Board of Engineering and Technology (ABET) accreditation standards.  

“It’s exciting to see all the progress on Friends University’s campus,” said Hutton CEO Ben Hutton. “We’re proud to be part of a project that helps fill the engineering talent pipeline in our region.”  

This project is partially funded by a Department of Commerce SPARK grant and is part of the $12.5 million investment in capital projects and student programming on the Friends University campus. Other projects include a $1 million investment in Cyber Security labs and scholarships, a $2.5 million Garvey Athletic Center remodel and the upcoming $7 million Riney Fine Arts Center renovation.  

For additional information on the Friends University mechanical engineering program, visit

Friends University, a Christian University of Quaker heritage, equips students to honor God and serve others by integrating their intellectual, spiritual and professional lives.