Saint Martin’s University is $800,000 closer to breaking ground for its new science building—a 30,000 square-foot classroom and laboratory facility—thanks to a grant from the M. J. Murdock Charitable Trust of Vancouver, Washington.
“The University is grateful to the Murdock Trust for its generous support of the Science Initiative and our STEM students,” said Saint Martin’s University President Roy Heynderickx, Ph.D. “According to recent reports, Washington is one of the top states in the nation in the concentration of STEM jobs, but much lower in the proportion of STEM degrees produced. The new science building will allow Saint Martin’s to recruit and graduate more STEM students who will make valuable contributions to Washington and its economy.”
As Saint Martin’s nears its fundraising goals for the Science Initiative, the University plans to break ground this fall on a new 30,000-square-foot classroom and laboratory facility that will house its growing natural and physical science programs. The new science building, which is scheduled to open in fall 2019, will include laboratories, classrooms, collaborative research spaces and offices. It will be strategically located near Cebula Hall and adjacent to the Panowicz Foundry for Innovation and the E.L. Wiegand Laboratories, which houses engineering, computer science, and industrial labs, creating a STEM complex at the core of the campus.
“As a part of its strategic vision, students choosing to study in a field of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, or STEM, have blossomed at Saint Martin’s University,” said Moses Lee, Ph.D., program director for research and science at the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust. “This growth is a result of the university’s strategic investment in building up its STEM programs, the construction of this modern and well-equipped science building within the STEM complex and the creation of a vibrant culture in undergraduate research. The Murdock Trust is pleased to the stand behind this vision and this exciting project.”
“This wonderful grant from the Murdock Trust is instrumental to our continuing focus on increased faculty-student research and teaching collaboration. It will also accelerate the pace of student and faculty scholarship as well as successful grant-writing,” said Jeff Crane, Ph.D., dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and interim dean of the School of Business.
Since 2013, Saint Martin’s University has experienced marked growth in enrollment across all of its STEM departments. The Murdock Trust previously made two grants to the University’s Engineering Initiative—one in support of the building of Cebula Hall and one in support of the construction of the Panowicz Foundry for Innovation and the E.L. Wiegand Laboratories. After the launch of the Engineering Initiative in 2010, the civil and mechanical engineering programs have seen a 30 percent increase in students. This has led to a greater demand for mathematics and physics classes, which are prerequisites for engineering. In addition, biology majors have grown to represent ten percent of all University students and the chemistry department is at its highest enrollment ever.
M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust, created by the will of the late Melvin. J. (Jack) Murdock, provides grants to organizations in five states of the Pacific Northwest—Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington—that seek to strengthen the region’s educational and cultural base in creative and sustainable ways. More information is available at www.murdocktrust.org.