Not even the hot noonday sun could diminish spirits at the long-awaited groundbreaking ceremony June 3 for Austin College’s IDEA Center. President Marjorie Hass and Board of Trustees chair Robert M. Johnson ’53 welcomed a large crowd of faculty, staff, students, trustees, alumni, and special friends to the site of the College’s planned new home for the biology, chemistry, environmental studies, physics, mathematics, and computer science departments.
The IDEA Center is the final step in the College’s strategic plan to more fully integrate science and technology into the liberal arts experience, having already updated curriculum and faculty positions. The facility, designed as a green building with LEEDS Silver certification, also provides the labs and spaces needed to match today’s sciences learning style and enhance the College’s already strong reputation in pre-medical preparation. An observatory also allows new areas of study and community outreach.
The ceremony also included comments from Larry Robinson, professor emeritus of physics; Bill Magers ’85, mayor of Sherman; and Carla Khalaf ’12. Chaplain John Williams ’84 offered the invocation.
The building name addresses Inquiry, Discovery, Entrepreneurship, and Access—primary goals for students in the sciences and technology.