“Can you just anticipate what exciting things are going to happen here? Who knows what breakthrough in research one of our students or professors will do here,” said the Rev. James Lowry, superintendent of the Atlanta Marietta District of the United Methodist Church, during the dedication of Reinhardt University’s new Science Center on Sept. 17, 2013.
|SGA President Maria Flores|
|Dr. William DeAngelis|
|The Rev. James Lowry|
Almost 100 students, trustees, alumni, community members, faculty and staff gathered on the Dobbs Science Hall plaza for the ceremony, which also included remarks from Reinhardt President Dr. J. Thomas Isherwood; Dean of the School of Mathematics and Science Dr. William DeAngelis and Student Government Association President Maria Flores. Reinhardt Chaplain the Rev. Jordan Thrasher opened the event with prayer.
“This building is a dream come true, one that has been envisioned and planned for a long time,” said DeAngelis. He said the new Science Center, as well as the renovation to Samuel C. Dobbs Science Hall, provides more room for instruction, more advanced equipment, and designated space for research. “An important learning outcome for our school is to get students involved in research. Several students in biology have already published articles in peer reviewed journals or given presentations at professional meetings. The space here dedicated to student research is very important to us.”
The new 12,000 square-foot Science Center includes three labs plus two advanced research labs, four classrooms and four offices. Dobbs Hall, the oldest academic building at Reinhardt, was built in 1926 of native fieldstone quarried on the campus. It was also renovated in 1964 and 1997.
Lowry got the crowd laughing as he explained the difference between a prayer of consecration and a prayer of dedication. “I have the privilege of offering a prayer of consecration over most of our church buildings… Consecration is the bank still owns it, and we get to make payments. This is a service of dedication… and we want to praise the Lord and give thanks together.”
Flores shared words from the student body. “Every year we want to do more. We want to learn more. We want to join more clubs. We want to represent Reinhardt at conferences. We want to go above and beyond every single year,” she said. She gave the new building as an example of the support Reinhardt offers to its students. “The first day we came back [this fall], our students were thrilled. Everyone was walking around, looking at the new labs and new equipment. It’s amazing that in a little town like Waleska, Ga., we have this incredible building. And it’s not just this building; it’s the people, the technology, everything at Reinhardt that makes such an impact every single day.”
Isherwood acknowledged the generous donations which funded the $4.2 million project. The Angel and George Lawson Estate provided $2 million. Northside Hospital and an Atlanta foundation, along with Reinhardt trustees and friends Steven and Nancy Gordy Simms, William G.'67 and Martha Hasty, Deborah Marlowe, and Bea and Austin Flint donated more than $2 million.
Isherwood ended the service with a big smile. “I’ve had some people say to me, ‘Now Reinhardt is really complete. Now you can do what you need to do in science.’ And that’s true… but we’re never complete. Just keep watching because… something’s coming.”
Following the ceremony, the new building and the renovated Dobbs Hall were open for tours.
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