CSI ribbon-cutting event for campus community – August 28, 2013
President Joanne Burrows:
Good afternoon and welcome.
Thank you all for being here as we commemorate this most significant day in the history of Clarke University. Today is an exciting day for all of us at Clarke as we celebrate the campus community’s grand opening of the Center for Science Inquiry, a building guaranteed to impact the lives of our students for decades to come.
Before I begin my remarks, I want to recognize the special guests in our midst:
• Vicar General for the Archdiocese, Monsignor Toale — standing in for Archbishop Jackels
• Generous donors
I thank them for their belief in and support of this endeavor.
A quality educational experience has the power to transform lives and create new opportunities – and that is our hope for this facility. The Center for Science Inquiry will transform lives and create new opportunities for all students – regardless of academic major.
The CSI was built for our students. It is a contemporary facility that promotes the most effective approaches to learning and doing science. You will see it is an amazing building for both its aesthetics and functionality. The Center holds spacious and well equipped classrooms and labs, dedicated student research labs, and expanded facilities for anatomy, physiology and environmental science.
We intentionally placed faculty offices and gathering spaces in close proximity to promote the collaborative learning and close student-faculty relationships that are such clear hallmarks of Clarke University. This building will help us transform how we prepare YOU – the scientists, teachers, and health practitioners of tomorrow.
From its earliest days, Clarke has fostered a spirit of scientific investigation. Today, Clarke is a regional leader in preparing science and health science professionals. Our graduates go on to the most prestigious graduate programs, work on cutting-edge research projects and progress to medical and other professional schools. The new Center creates a learning environment that matches the exceptional quality of our faculty and curriculum – and allows us to continue our long tradition of educating outstanding science and healthcare professionals.
Our tradition and history of academic excellence in the sciences is impressive. I am certain our students will continue to accomplish great things in their fields and go on to impact the communities in which they live and work. As a university community, we are proud to provide you, our students, with a world-class academic experience in the Center for Science Inquiry. We trust that you will take full advantage of this amazing facility – and the professors within it – to make the most of your educational experience at Clarke.
Last spring, just 15 months ago, we gathered together for a ground-breaking celebration for this building and almost exactly one year ago we celebrated the grand opening of the Lingen Technology Commons.
To say it’s an exciting time at Clarke seems a bit of an understatement! Our recent successes have been the result of strategic planning, intentional action and our sustained effort and commitment to quality and community.
Mary Frances Clarke, our foundress, called us to be progressive with the times in which we live. We continue to be inspired by this message and believe the Center for Science Inquiry answers that call by providing the best possible learning environment for our students. The momentum of our new strategic plan, and the words of Mary Frances Clarke, are sure to guide us to a very promising future.
Thank you all for taking part in today’s celebration. Here’s to a great year of ‘breaking in’ our new facility!
It is my pleasure to now welcome Michelle Slover, chair of the biology department, to the podium to say a few words.
Michelle Slover, chair of the biology department:
Mons. Toale, Trustees, administration, faculty, staff, students and other guests, thank you for being a part of this special occasion as we celebrate the opening of the new science facility.
We are excited about the level of student learning that will be able to occur in the Center for Science Inquiry. According to Merriam Webster, inquiry is the examination into facts or principles. This Center for Science Inquiry is a place to facilitate the process of augmenting knowledge and solving problems. A few synonyms related to inquiry are examination, exploration, investigation and research. This facility with its focus on collaboration, designated research space and labs designed for integration of material will support all of these activities. Science inquiry is an on-going process that will take us into the next 171 years and beyond by instilling in our current and future students the desire to question and search for answers.
Students, I urge you to take advantage of this new space, this new Center for Science Inquiry, and what it has to offer. Seek the learning climate that is available when faculty members and students work together in a facility that was designed to promote this type of collaboration. Enjoy the beautiful views as you seamlessly move between lab and lecture. As Sr. Joanne said … this Center for Science Inquiry was built for you. Clarke University along with generous friends and alums has made an investment in your future. We believe in you, your talents and abilities, and have given you a space in which your commitment to learn, explore and research can thrive. Best wishes for a fantastic year as you enjoy your new learning spaces. Thank you.
Diana Malone, chair of chemistry department:
It is an honor to represent the chemistry/biochemistry department and the new food science major at this ribbon-cutting ceremony to formally open the Center for Science Inquiry.
For our new students I’m sure you think it is anywhere from nice to great with its spaciousness, beautiful views and student centered atmosphere.
For our returning students – especially those who have taken chemistry courses – WOW.
No more 3 and 4 hours of standing, the labs have chairs – with backs and wheels.
No more wet feet from overflowing water canisters – deionized water comes out of the taps.
No more running back to 309 for your calculator – there is great storage space right in the laboratory.
No more sitting on the floor when waiting for class – there are large tables and chairs for you and your friends to study or just relax.
And finally, there are women’s and men’s bathrooms on each floor.
But, this is only a building. How will you exploit it? The entrance is graced with a beautiful depiction of the Core Values of both the BVM community and Clarke University: Freedom, Education, Charity and Justice. This awesome logo was designed and executed by Sister Carmelle Zerdin, art professor emeritus.
I would like to look at just one of these values – Freedom. The research facilities, state of the art instrumentation and faculty expertise are ready for you to realize your dreams and goals. Individually or as part of a team you will have the freedom to do both basic and applied research. You will experience biology and chemistry in a real world setting. Like all facets of your education, it is your choice to do meaningful research – to become a “what if” person.
Today is the 50th anniversary of the march of 250 thousand people to hear Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. deliver his iconic speech “I have a Dream”. You too have dreams and the freedom to bring these dreams to fruition. Just Do It!
It is my pleasure to now invite Mons. Toale to the podium for the official blessing of the building.
Monsignor Toale – Building Blessing
The construction of this Center for Science Inquiry came through the work and prayer of many.
Today we gather to dedicate this building. We ask that those entrusted with the education of our students may teach them how to join the discoveries of human wisdom with the truth of the Gospel. It will be a facility sure to enhance the academic experience for all students.
In St. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, he reminds us that we are “fellow citizens with the holy ones and members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the capstone.”
We ask God’s blessing on the Center for Science Inquiry, inviting Christ to be its capstone and foundation. We offer the following intentions, to which I invite you to respond, “Lord Hear Our Prayer.”
• For the Church, that all may find renewed commitment to following Christ, we pray to the Lord.
• For our world, that we might grow in the values of mercy and compassion, we pray to the Lord.
• For the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, whose sincere love of God and their neighbor led to the founding of this institution, we pray to the Lord.
• For those who, by their work and contributions, helped to build this new Center for Science Inquiry, we pray to the Lord.
• For those who will use the Center for Science Inquiry, that they will grow in wisdom, knowledge, mercy, and compassion, we pray to the Lord.
• For our University, that we may eagerly seek all that is true and devote our efforts to the betterment of human society, we pray to the Lord.
Let us now join in the Lord’s Prayer.
PRAYER OF BLESSING (all extend hands)
With praise and thanksgiving, it is by your gracious favor that today we bless this new Center for Science Inquiry.
May it be a place of sound learning, new discovery and the pursuit of wisdom.
Grant that those who teach and those who learn may find You to be the source of all truth.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
May almighty God bless us all, the Father, and the Son, + and the Holy Spirit.