Thomas Center for Science and Innovation Celebrates Campaign Success
A bold and impressive reminder that Baldwin Wallace is rapidly moving ahead with its plans to create a campus that is vibrant and technologically advanced, the Thomas Family Center for Science and Innovation celebrates the success of Transforming Lives: The Campaign for Baldwin Wallace University.
The four building, 90,000-square-foot complex unites science, business and innovation. It is a nucleus where students, faculty, scholars and business professionals can delve into complex scientific research studies, discuss community-changing sustainability practices, and tackle economic challenges facing today's entrepreneurs.
With the recent dedication of Art and Helen Telfer Hall, the final component of the the Thomas Family Center, the $27 million complex is complete. Included in the 18-month project is the renovation of Telfer, Wilker and Ward halls. It also includes new construction for the Center for Innovation and Growth (CIG) and a connector addition uniting Telfer and Wilker halls.
Bridging Classroom Studies with Real-World Learning
"We wanted to create an environment for science and innovation on our campus where progressive thinking can unite with dynamic, hands-on opportunities," said BW President Dick Durst.
"As a college, we are a learning community. Frequently that includes fostering change. It may be in the form of conducting research that can better mankind, or saving a species of disappearing plant life, or providing consultation to a small-business owner looking to make her business grow," he continued.
"The facilities are state-of-the-art," noted Durst. "But what sets us apart and impresses graduate schools and potential employers is the work our students are doing inside and the way they bridge classroom studies with practical application.
"The advanced research being done in our biology, chemistry, geology, neuroscience and physics labs is phenomenal and has been presented at international conferences," he explained.
"Likewise, this past summer our undergraduate and graduate students recently conducted multiple research studies for a CIG global partner who is an international businessman evaluating investment opportunities for a larger group of investors," he added.
Transforming Lives Through Successful Campaign
Funding for the Thomas Family Center was a collaborative effort filled with vision and commitment. Through Transforming Lives: The Campaign for Baldwin Wallace University, many benefactors contributed funds to ensure the campaign's success. Among them was BW Board of Trustee James '59 Thomas and his wife Sally, who made a matching gift challenge of $5 million to spur the project forward.
Thomas, a prominent Los Angeles-based developer, recognized the importance of preparing the next generation of business and science leaders.
Also substantial was the five-year $1.65 million grant awarded by the Ewing Marion Kauffman and Burton D. Morgan foundations to infuse entrepreneurial thinking across campus and to contribute to regional development. To its credit, BW was one of only 20 colleges in the U.S. selected for this funding.
Focusing on Sustainability
Earth-friendly geothermal heating/cooling, recyclable carpeting and energy-efficient lighting and filtration systems are some of the sustainability measures incorporated into the Thomas Center for Science and Innovation.
"As a teaching institution, we have a responsibility to our students, to the community and to future generations to be a leader in sustainability," said Durst. "The Thomas Center is a reflection of our goal to be educators as well as practitioners on our own campus."
"Our next step is the installation of solar panels on CIG," he said. "Just like science, business and innovation are constantly evolving, so, too, the Thomas Center is a dynamic complex that is progressive and transformative to students and the community."