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New $40 Million Center for Science and Business Ushers in Cutting-Edge Learning at Monmouth College

Monmouth, Illinois (PRWEB) May 03, 2013

At the heart of the picturesque, 106-year-old campus of Monmouth College is the new $40 million Center for Science and Business, a 138,000-sq.-ft. building that integrates science and business in a way that will provide unique learning and teaching opportunities for students and faculty.

The Center will be formally dedicated with a ceremony on May 10 at 3 p.m. with veteran WGN Radio agribusiness reporter Orion Samuelson providing the keynote address.

“Monmouth College has audacious goals,” said President Mauri Ditzler. “We expect that the Center for Science and Business is going to produce graduates who will change the world. It seems entirely appropriate that our keynote speaker Orion Samuelson’s recent autobiography is titled ‘You Can’t Dream Big Enough,’ and that he has also happened to spend his career at the intersection of science and business.”

The Center for Science and Business is the first new building totally dedicated to academics to be built on campus in four decades and is now the College’s largest structure. Students will begin taking classes in the Center at the start of the fall semester in August.

The design of the building was driven by the belief that an education for the 21st century must highlight the integration of knowledge, and that excellent colleges go beyond offering good courses by helping students understand how all their courses fit together.

“When we designed our building, we didn’t want to focus on intersections, such as having biology next to chemistry, and where the two departments touch, that’s biochemistry,” Ditzler said. “We wanted to get all the students and faculty in the building to mix – not just a few. That’s why we put in the Great Room, which will provide what I like to call ‘serendipitous learning spaces’ – places where students and faculty will casually and accidentally interact.”

Under development for more than seven years, the project began to take shape in 2007 with a major gift from the Edward Arthur Mellinger Educational Foundation, which funded the development of building plans by the award-winning international architectural firm Burt Hill, a specialist in scientific and academic facilities. Ground was broken in the summer of 2011 and construction has continued steadily over the ensuing months.

In December, a time capsule was placed in a wall near the building’s main entrance. Inside the capsule were items from each of the nine majors that will be housed inside the new building – accounting, biology, biochemistry, biopsychology, business, chemistry, mathematics and computer science, physics and psychology – as well as other official college documents.

At the May 10 dedication, students representing each of the disciplines that will be housed in the Center will deposit soil samples into containers, to be used in the landscaping of the grounds. The samples were collected in 2011 from the hometowns of members of the current sophomore class, who presented them on the day of the building’s cornerstone dedication that year.

The opening of the Center for Science and Business symbolizes the central nature of science and business in Monmouth College’s curriculum and reflects the College’s vision to provide a space that will produce graduates who are well prepared for success in a global economy.

“We want our business students to leave here with a real knowledge of what’s happening on the cutting edge of science,” Ditzler said. “We want them to be comfortable talking to science students. We want them to form contacts they will use later in life. And the reverse – we want our science students to be comfortable with ideas of business.”

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