Students Welcome Latest Addition to Campus Skyline
More than 350 students, alumni, faculty, staff members, trustees and friends of the university gathered together on Sept. 8, 2006, to celebrate the grand opening and building dedication of the John Brooks Williams Natural Sciences Center-North Building.
This marks the fourth new building constructed as the university works to complete the Master Plan.
A Catalyst for Change: Grand Opening Celebration
Everyone was treated to special Amy's ice cream flavors like "buttered proton," "experi-mint" and "skyrocket chocolate," while performance artist Divine entertained the crowd as she transformed herself into a living vine that could be spotted "growing" on the building and nearby trees.
Speakers for the dedication included President George E. Martin, School of Natural Sciences Dean Charlie Bicak, Biochemistry major Rachel Walker, '07, and John Bauer, '62. Bauer, a longtime friend of John Brooks Williams and executor of the estate, played an important part in funding the center by transferring gifts to the university totaling $12.5 million.
Design Supports Learning
"It's incredible what this building has to offer," says Walker, who gave the invocation as well as a personal speech at the event. "It was a really wonderful opportunity and a blessing to represent this building and the piece of science that it is and what it offers to the university." Walker and fellow students are already benefiting from the unique design of the center, which encourages learning through spacious classrooms and laboratories with advanced instrumentation for the Biology and Chemistry programs.
Discoveries to Come
After the building dedication, guests enjoyed self-guided tours of the building and watched upper-class science students demonstrate a variety of science experiments, including:
- Chemistry of wine
- Detection of elements
- Regulation of genes by bacteria
Next Up: The South Building
The north building is the first of two buildings that will eventually make up the 111,000-square-foot John Brooks Williams Natural Sciences Center. The south building will house space for the Computer Science, Mathematics and Physics programs.