Dickinson Receives $1 Million Gift for Greenhouse Project
September 20, 2011
A conceptual rendering shows the planned research-quality greenhouse, which will be built adjacent to Kaufman Hall. The 1,400-square-foot facility will house isolated research zones and climate-controlled laboratories.
Dickinson College has received a $1 million gift from alumni John ’59 and Inge Paul Stafford ’58 to fund a new research-quality greenhouse on the grounds of Kaufman Hall. The greenhouse is expected to have a transformative effect on sustainability education, interdisciplinary learning and the college’s science curriculum.
The 1,400-square-foot facility will include three isolated research zones, a general use greenhouse area, a preparation potting area and climate-controlled laboratories, which are critical to experiments and research on marine ecosystems, seasonally-dependent plants and air quality.
“The beauty of this design is that you will see students and faculty representing all science disciplines – from biology and chemistry to earth and environmental sciences – under one roof, utilizing the resources of a modern, sophisticated research center,” said associate professor of biology Tom Arnold. “The greenhouse will be an incubator for interdisciplinary study in the sciences.”
Arnold said his faculty colleagues anticipate the greenhouse will enhance their research and teaching in courses such as physics, which incorporates solar energy projects; earth sciences, which revolve around climatology, paleontology and mineralogy; and biology—one of the largest majors at Dickinson—by expanding student-faculty research so that undergraduates regularly assist in labs and collaborate on publications and conference presentations.
As an anchor to the Rector Science Complex, the greenhouse will frame the science campus at the northern perimeter of the Dickinson campus and spotlight the location of the college’s new Center for Sustainability Education, a significant interdisciplinary undertaking, which is bringing national attention to Dickinson for its leadership role in sustainability education and stewardship.
The Staffords have long supported the sciences at Dickinson, previously having made gifts toward renovation of the bioinformatics laboratory, to provide scholarships to science students, to establish a bioinformatics endowment fund and an endowed chair in bioinformatics. Thanks to the Staffords' commitment to leadership giving, the Stafford Auditorium in the Rector Science Complex bears their name. John Stafford is the former chairman and CEO of Wyeth; Inge Stafford is a retired psychologist and a Dickinson trustee.
“The leadership that Jack and Inge provide—in both service to the college and in the realm of philanthropy—is extraordinary,” said Dickinson President William G. Durden ’71. “They are helping to fuel Dickinson’s momentum on the road to success by supporting our vision for the future.”
A construction schedule for the project is not yet finalized.