December 1, 2006
I bid you a warm welcome on a cold afternoon. This is an historic moment in the life of our college. We are about to break ground for a building that will dramatically change the shape of the campus and the daily movements of all of us who live and work here. In its sheer beauty, the new Math/Science Complex will add visual splendor to this historic piece of a campus already renowned for its beauty. The scope of the building has been carefully managed during the design phase so that it will nestle among, rather than loom over and dominate, historic Steensland Hall and Old Main; nevertheless, it will be a big building. I imagine that a third of the students in the college will be drawn to this site every day for study, research, advising, mentoring, and socializing. The “center” of campus thus will shift gradually to the south and east as more and more members of the community have occasion to be here for part of the day. I am so pleased that we will be able to remove the parking lot behind you, replacing it with a sweep of green lawn that will answer the proud sweep of the Melby lawn from the north and west. Frisbee will be played here, and that is a good thing.
And yet, in the midst of change, we will experience continuity. This edifice we are about to construct will be new, but the purposes it serves, and the principles that have guided its design, are as old as our college. We are about to build a space meant to enhance teaching and learning. It has been designed around a curriculum of study and a carefully considered pedagogy. Thus, the needs of students and faculty-partners in the teaching learning enterprise-have guided every decision about this building that we have made. The new Math/Science Center, when we open its doors in the fall of 2008, will take its place, clad in limestone, among the other buildings on Manitou Heights, each of which exists to propel the mission of this College. It will serve our College for decades, long after many of us here today are gone, and it will serve us well.