Groundbreaking Ceremony for the
Keystone Phase of the New Science Campus
Dickinson College, May 5, 2006
Remarks of President William G. Durden
This is an extraordinary day for Dickinson College . Today, we break ground for the most ambitious and potentially "useful" building project in our history-the Keystone Phase of our newly conceived Science Campus. The Keystone Phase will be constructed adjacent to Tome Hall, the first phase of the overall project, and will consist of two additional halls. This Phase will be followed at a later date by the construction of the Capstone Phase, a fourth hall. This integrated facility, together with Althouse Hall and potentially Dana Hall, will support our visionary, nationally recognized science program and serve as a defining model of undergraduate science study and research for the 21 st century.
With this action today, we are taking a major step toward realizing the historic vision for a distinctively American liberal arts education initiated by our founder, Dr. Benjamin Rush. As a physician, Rush instinctively understood the importance of science in a liberal arts curriculum. For Rush, science was to play a central organizing role in Dickinson 's course of study. It was the sciences along with the study of modern languages, Rush believed, that would help students make connections between existing and emerging disciplines, global connections that would lead ultimately to the creation of new knowledge and new frontiers of intellectual inquiry.
Rush knew that scientific discovery would become a central and highly useful force in the development of the new nation, driving economic expansion, improving public health, and fueling America's innate passion for innovation. As the future citizen leaders of the new democracy, Dickinson students would gain the best preparation through a liberal arts curriculum that not only included, but also integrated the sciences. As we stand at the threshold of a new century that will be dominated by advances in scientific discovery, Rush's vision has never seemed more prescient.
Our faculty has created a progressive science curriculum appropriate for the challenges and opportunities of the 21 st century. This building will provide them with a facility that will allow their energy, creativity and intellectual curiosity-and that of their students-to grow and thrive. The Keystone Phase of the Science Campus will assert-through architectural design and academic content-the centrality of science in a distinctively American liberal arts education and, specifically, the centrality of science to the mission of Dickinson College .
At Dickinson, our approach to a liberal arts education has been made more distinctive by the unique and meaningful way we have integrated science into our overall course of study. Our emphasis on active pedagogy, our quick willingness to embrace cross-disciplinary explorations and our insistence on including our science faculty and students in our global mission set us apart from our peers. Science, at Dickinson , mirrors our total academic experience.
Creating the vision for a three-phased Science Campus-not to mention defining and refining the endless details that will make it a reality-has required the talent, tenacity and energy of many, many individuals. I must thank, as Provost Weissman will, the science faculty and the students who gave countless hours of service on the science building steering committee. They are to be commended for their passion, their patience and, most of all, their perseverance in participating in this process. And they are to be applauded for their flexibility and ultimate trust, for contributing their knowledge and expertise, and for their willingness to continue monitoring this project until completion.
Vice President Nick Stamos must be heartily commended for his leadership as he has steadily marshaled this project from conception to design to groundbreaking. Nick, of course, has been ably assisted by Associate Vice President Ken Shultes and many others in the Facilities Division.
We must also extend our deep appreciation to Fred Bean, the Carlisle Borough Manager; Michael Kaiser, Carlisle Director of Public Works; and Alicia Reiter, Carlisle Planning, Zoning and Codes Manager, as well as Carlisle Borough Council, Don Grell, President. These individuals have shared in our dream and have worked quietly and cooperatively to secure the zoning requirements and permits to make it a reality.
And finally, I must extend my most sincere gratitude to trustees Byron Koste, Sylvia Smith and the other members of the Committee on Facilities for their extraordinary contribution in both time and expertise. They have been with us every step of the way, providing wise counsel, enthusiasm, encouragement and when appropriate, a healthy dose of caution. We would not be here today without their strong guidance. I must also extend personal thanks to General David Meade for his enthusiastic conversations with me about the project and its execution, conversations that I know will continue and to which I look forward.
I would now like to ask Provost Weissman to make a few remarks.
Provost Weissman - Thank and acknowledge faculty; remarks on curricular impact of new facility
Dusty Rhoads - Remarks on the artistic vision and the client-architect partnership
Jennifer Reynolds - New era in philanthropy for Dickinson College
After Jennifer Reynolds speaks, President returns to podium.
It is my distinct pleasure to acknowledge those individuals who, through their remarkable philanthropic support, make our Science Campus a reality. By associating their names with our new facilities, they will be honored in perpetuity for their foresight and generosity by generations of Dickinsonians to come.
Before acknowledging our most recent donors, I want to share for the first time publicly how we plan to honor Dr. Ben James, Class of 1934. The second hall of the building for which we break ground today, will retain the name of the existing James Center. James Hall, as it will be called, is named in honor of Dr. James, whose long history with the College included appointments as the first Dean of Admissions, the first Dean of Students and Chair of the Education and Psychology Departments. Ben, this gesture assures that your name will continue to be synonymous with Dickinson as it has for nearly three-quarters of a century. Ben, would you please stand?
The set of buildings that will stand behind me by 2008 will include advanced laboratories, equipment and classrooms. It will also include a state-of-the-art auditorium that will serve the entire Science Campus. I am delighted to announce that we are able to construct this distinctive facility through the generous gift of $1 million from Inge Paul Stafford, Class of 1958, and her husband John R. Stafford, Class of 1959. We are delighted that the auditorium will forever bear their name in recognition of their remarkable commitment to their alma mater. Inge and Jack please stand.
I am also pleased to announce that we have decided to name the entire Science Campus in honor of Robert D. Rector, Class of 1945 and his wife Dorothy. We learned in January 2005 that the Rectors had left the bulk of their estate to Dickinson College , a gift that will approach $15 million and maybe even exceed it. This extraordinary gift gave us the confidence to think broadly and boldly about all of our science facilities and to conceive of them as a cohesive continuum that will promote a creative interdisciplinary exchange of knowledge.
It is now my great privilege to announce publicly that the lead hall of the Keystone Phase of the Science Campus will be named in honor of the Stuart family which includes trustee, Wynne Amick, Class of 1962 and her son, Bill Amick, Class of 1993 as well as yet another generation, Meredith-who are here with us today; Bill's wife, Cheryl, Class of 1991; Wynne's brother Bob Stuart and his wife, Bobbi; and the Stuart Foundation. Would Wynne and Bill please stand? Wynne, it is, in fact, your family's remarkable gift of $5 million that allows us to break ground today for this visionary, revolutionary Keystone Phase of the Science Campus. With this commitment, the family's contribution to Dickinson 's capital campaign now exceeds $6.5 million.
Your gift specifically signals to all the transformation of philanthropy at Dickinson . Your gift confirms our resolution from this date forward to erect buildings vital to our academic program with foreknowledge of substantial financial resources and thus enable us to move to completion with confidence. Your family is an inspiration to all Dickinsonians to set the bar high for future giving towards major building projects as well as all other initiatives at our College. You have transformed our expectation of ourselves and have signaled an emerging financial strength to the general public.
This generous family's long association with Dickinson began when Wynne's father, J. William Stuart attended the College as a member of the Class of 1932 and a contemporary of Ben James. It was here that Bill met his future wife, Helen, also a member of the Class of 1932.
Recently, Wynne, General Meade and I were talking over lunch about her father. She recounted to me that her father loved Dickinson because it opened up to him a world that he had never experienced and never expected as a local country boy. After milking the cows in the morning, Bill would ride daily by horse to Dickinson from the Mt. Holly Springs area, returning at the end of the day to fulfill more chores on the farm.
Bill's first job after graduation was as a night watchman at Spencer Kellogg and Sons in New Jersey , and he quickly moved on to handle a range of managerial assignments. In the fall of 1941, Bill joined what was then the privately-held Brooklyn-based firm of Pfizer pharmaceutical. The flexibility and talent he demonstrated as a key executive in Pfizer's transition from a small organization to one that spanned the globe reflected well the versatility of his Dickinson liberal arts education. Most important was Bill's motivation. Mr. Stuart played a crucial role in advancing the company's primary purpose in the late 1940s and early 1950s-the production and worldwide distribution of penicillin, an engagement that ultimately saved millions of lives globally during WWII and beyond.
Bill Stuart was, as Benjamin Rush predicted, one of the citizen-leaders who connected the dots to make a difference. Bill, along with his pioneering colleagues saw what others did not see and, thus, could envision a small company's potential for future global contribution and service. A Dickinson education gave Bill a sense of the bigger world, its challenges, its opportunities and the leadership role that he could play in it. Mr. Stuart engaged the world; he made a significant difference. It is, therefore, so very fitting that the Keystone Phase of the Science Campus will honor his legacy and thereby serve as an inspiration to future generations of Dickinson students.
Wynne and Bill, on behalf of the entire Dickinson campus, I thank you and your family for your unflagging and enthusiastic commitment to Dickinson , your willingness to aspire with us, and most of all, for allowing our mutual dreams to become reality. You are noble Dickinsonians.
And now with these ceremonial shovels, we officially break ground for Dickinson College 's Keystone Phase of the Science Campus. It is a long-awaited moment worthy of much celebration, heightened anticipation for our future, and gratitude to all of the donors who have made this great day possible. Thank you all for coming.
View photos of groundbreaking
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