Next-Generation Science Center

classroom rendering

Today, our Roanoke College family stands at a crossroads. With 25 years of significant and strategic renovations propelling us forward, we look forward to the construction of our new Science Center—and the completion of our campus transformation. With one final push, we will realize this visionary new Science Center, built to foster the types of meaningful academic and personal connections that Roanoke is known for. It is these deep, life-long connections among Maroons that have brought us to this incredible juncture, and it is precisely these connections that will power us forward.

Join us, and together we will lift Roanoke Beyond the Rise.

 - President Michael C. Maxey

Science Center

Concept designs for Roanoke College's new Science Center.

The Science Center is the Exclamation Point on a 25-year Campus Revitalization Journey

two people in a lab

For the past quarter century, Roanoke College has celebrated as a series of campus construction projects and renovations have been successfully completed, each one touching on a critical aspect of our student experience and the longstanding strength of this beloved institution. 

Now, we stand poised to construct a new Science Center, built for the next century of discovery, that will provide state-of-the-art teaching and learning spaces for a student population that has doubled since the existing science facilities were built in 1970. With your strong support, we will renovate the Life Sciences and Trexler buildings, bring down Massengill Auditorium, and raise a new, state-of-the-art central building in its place.

This new complex will transform the academic culture on campus through common spaces, programs and events that are relevant to the entire campus community. The Science Center will become a sought-after destination for serious academic study of all subjects and will firmly set the tone of campus—and the College—as forward-looking. 

Campus Journey

The Science Center is a Dynamic Convergence of Sciences, People, and Their Possibilities

female student looking up

More than a state-of-the-art space for science education and research, the Science Center will be a gateway welcoming the entire Roanoke community onto campus. Its location and open design, coupled with the exploratory learning that will take place inside of its walls, will create a dynamic convergence of sciences, people and their possibilities at the heart of campus.

The Center will be utilized by all students, as the sciences and mathematics are integral components of an elite liberal arts education. By purposefully putting science on display, this new complex exposes all of the remarkable facets of research and thoughtful inquiry to every student.

Interesting Intersections

two scientists

Key fields of study highlight the crucial intersections needed to advance academic study—and society.    

  • Neuroscience, the study of how the brain works, combines psychology with biology, computer science, mathematics, chemistry and physics. Dr. Vernon Mountcastle, ’38 is considered one of the fathers of Neuroscience.
  • Material and Nanoscience provides a deeper understanding of our physical world and a means to design and produce the materials of the future. Physics and chemistry are the primary contributing disciplines.
  • Biochemistry/Molecular Biology studies processes in living organisms and combines work in biology and chemistry.
  • Environmental problems are so complex that they require every discipline within the sciences working with every discipline outside of the sciences, including sociology, ethics, political science, business and even literature. 

Big Data Visualization helps us understand the mountains of data surrounding us so that it can be explained to broader audiences and used to make important decisions in myriad fields, including business, government, and healthcare.

The Science Center is a Roanoke Family Enterprise Built by and for Meaningful Connections

professor talking to students

Roanoke College is defined by its connections. Students interact with and learn from one another all while building critical relationships with faculty. Collaborative spaces foster new discoveries and intersections between fields of study make the impossible, possible. Curriculum merges with educational approach, creating the academic experiences that make Roanoke unique. Most importantly, students make connections to new and different aspects of themselves, prepared to leave the College as curious, thoughtful, well-rounded individuals ready to enter the workforce.   

Likewise, the Science Center will be a destination for open dialogue, enlightening interactions and the establishment of life-long relationships—all within a culture of mentoring that leads students to further, life-changing connections.

In the same way, the completion of the Center—built by and for our united Roanoke family—will only be realized when all alumni, friends, students, and faculty come together in support of this vital project. Roanoke is a family-for-life community—based on gratitude and pride—and the Science Center is a crucial connection to the future growth and vitality of the College. 

Join us with your leadership gift, and help push Roanoke Beyond the Rise.


female student in lab

The new Science Center will house the following programs in one state-of-the-art location: