The “soft opening” for the new Science Center on March 27 marks a new era and historic transformation for academic facilities at North Central College.
Students and faculty of all disciplines, representing 140 courses, are using the building’s modern amenities this spring. Students quickly discovered that the building is their preferred place for studying and attending class, with modern classroom designs and technologies, ample gathering spaces with unique furnishings and an Au Bon Pain café. The labs to support the science curriculum will be ready for fall term and will completely change the way our faculty teach.
During my inaugural address four years ago, I described science, technology, engineering and mathematics as cornerstones of every great comprehensive liberal arts college. When they’re taught well—the way we teach them here—they equip students not only to master the specifics of their discipline, but also to work and think creatively across multiple disciplines.
For many years, North Central’s science faculty have done an outstanding job of teaching in facilities that were not up to par. Today I can say that we now have the region’s premier multidisciplinary science center. It equips our faculty to teach and work in collaborative research spaces that foster the interdisciplinary connections so essential to solving complex problems. The building houses the lab sciences of biochemistry, biology, chemistry and physics, and also mathematics, computer science, psychology, neuroscience and exercise science.
I hope you’ll join us at Homecoming in October to experience this facility firsthand and celebrate an official building dedication! (And as part of the broader Brilliant Future Campaign, there are still ample opportunities to name an office, a classroom or a lab before then.)
The Science Center is just one step in the College’s forward momentum. You’ll read in this issue about the renovations to the Kroehler building and Goldspohn Hall and the 150 office moves planned for this summer. In addition, we’re developing new academic programs that respond to the needs of our changing world. These include occupational therapy, nonprofit management, health science and environmental studies, also described in this issue.
And our students continue to impress us all with their steadfast commitment to excellence. Their dedication to open, respectful dialogue has been abundantly clear in a series of “fireside chats,” developed earlier this year as a forum for students to share differing views in a constructive and supportive setting.
In March, the perseverance of the men’s track and field team was truly inspiring—and earned members a fifth indoor national championship. The best part was that they clinched the title in our own Residence Hall/Recreation Center in front of hundreds of Cardinal fans!
I’m looking forward to seeing what other outstanding achievements this term will bring!
Troy D. Hammond, Ph.D. President Professor of Physics