Next-Generation Science Center
McConnon Science Challenge
“I’m hoping that my donation and my story will help other alumni think about how Roanoke College may have helped and inspired their lives and careers. I felt that at this point in my life, after a rewarding career I would give back to Roanoke College. I am asking all alumni to consider donating to the future of the College, and the new Science Center. It will be rewarding for them, the College and future students who aspire to greater things.”
Shaun McConnon ’66, Executive Chairman of the Board, BitSight
Did You Know?
The new Science Center will impact every single Roanoke student, whether or not they are majoring in the sciences.
- Every Roanoke student, regardless of major, takes at least three courses from the programs in the Science Center.
- 33% of all courses on campus will be taught in the Science Center.
- Three of Roanoke’s ten most popular majors—psychology, biology and environmental studies—will be in the Science Center.
- Each year, approximately 75% of student summer research experiences are mentored by faculty in the Science Center.
- Approximately 50% of student research experiences each academic year are offered by programs in the Science Center.
Roanoke is committed to nurturing the whole student, focusing on personal as well as academic development. The new Science Center’s interactive study spaces, high-power research labs and collaborative spaces, all contribute to the type of experiential learning that leads to higher levels of student success. We know that Roanoke students are 10 times more successful in their chemistry courses when they work in groups. Imagine the impact when students of all majors come together in a space built specifically to foster this powerful peer-to-peer engagement.
The Science Center is a pivotal project that will benefit each and every Maroon on campus.
The Science Center is the Exclamation Point on a 25-year Campus Revitalization Journey
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 Science 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.
The Science Center is a Dynamic Convergence of Sciences, People, and Their Possibilities
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.
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
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.