President William G. Durden ’71 gave the thumbs-up after officially breaking ground on Dickinson’s Rector Science Complex addition Monday afternoon. The groundbreaking marks the beginning of a project that will unite the entire biology department with the college’s other science departments and provide more than 20,000 square feet of additional state-of-the-art teaching and research facilities.
“I am delighted that this building is going up in the context of much more construction on campus—the greatest amount in our history,” Durden said, referring to the campuswide facilities-enhancement effort, which also includes a new soccer complex, a Kline Center expansion, an interdisciplinary greenhouse and a new residence hall. All projects are expected to be completed by summer 2014, with the Rector addition scheduled to open in fall 2013.
“Everything we’re planning is in process,” Durden told attendees, emphasizing that the Rector project is a key marker in continuing Dickinson’s growing reputation as “a major player in liberal-arts education in the sciences.”
Provost and Dean Neil Weissman, who manned a ceremonial shovel alongside Vice President of Finance and Administration Thomas Queenan and Associate Professor of Biology Carol Loeffler, noted that Dickinson has never subscribed to the “build it and they will come” mentality.
“We don’t just build snappy structures to enhance appeal in terms of recruitment,” Weissman said. “Our approach has been to design a program and be innovative in the way we teach, and then have the structures follow the program and follow what the faculty imagined doing.”
By Tony Moore
Photos by Carl Socolow '77