SPRINGFIELD, Ohio — What started out as a collaborative vision in 2001, when the Wittenberg University Board of Directors decided to commit to the construction of a $23 million science education facility, has since turned into a state-of-the-art research center, which will benefit generations of Wittenberg students for years to come.
Named in honor of the late wife of Richard L. “Dick” Kuss, the Barbara Deer Kuss Science Center will be formally dedicated at 4 p.m. Friday, Sept. 19, during a convocation and ceremony. Additional events are also planned for the days preceding the official dedication.
At 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 17, in the Bayley Auditorium of the new Kuss
Science Center, the Wittenberg Series welcomes Elwood Jensen, cancer researcher, who will present the first of two IBM Endowed Lectures during the week. Jensen, the 2002 recipient of the Susan G. Komen Prize for Breast Cancer Research and the John and Gladys Strauss Chair for Cancer Research at the University of Cincinnati’s Vontz Center for Molecular Studies, will discuss “The Estrogen Receptor: A Model for Molecular Medicine.” Jensen is a native of Springfield, graduate of Springfield High School and 1940 graduate of Wittenberg.
The celebration continues from 12:30 to 2 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 18, in the Bayley Auditorium, when Director of Project Kaleidoscope Jeanne L. Narum discusses “New Spaces for Science – What Difference Will They Make?” Narum is the founding director of Project Kaleidoscope (PKAL), a Washington, D.C.-based informal national alliance working to build strong learning environments for undergraduate students in mathematics, engineering and the various fields of science. Through a coordinated series of workshops, national meetings, and print and electronic publications, PKAL presents the work of individuals and institutions having positive impact in attracting students into the study of STEM fields and in motivating them to persist and succeed.
The following day, Friday, Sept. 19, the Wittenberg Series welcomes Harvard professor, biologist and two-time Pulitzer-prize winner Edward O. Wilson for the second IBM Endowed Lecture. Wilson will discuss “The Future of Life” at 4 p.m. in Weaver Chapel, located in the center of Wittenberg’s campus.
Wilson has written 20 books, discovered hundreds of new species and is the recipient of the highest scientific award in the field of ecology, the Cartfoord Prize, from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. Considered by many to be the most influential and distinguished scientists in the world, Wilson is often called the “father of biodiversity” and the “new Darwin.” As a pioneering sociobiologist, Wilson has already joined the pantheon of the world’s most influential thinkers.
Wilson’s talk will highlight the dedication convocation, which will be followed by the dedication ceremony at the Barbara Deer Kuss Science Center. The ceremony will include a reception and tours of the facility. Wittenberg faculty and students will staff offices and labs, and refreshments will be served on all levels of the center. Another highlight of the evening will be a specially commissioned musical offering composed by Steven Winteregg, adjunct professor of music, and performed by Triple Bond Trio. All dedication events are open to the Wittenberg community and general public free of charge.
The Kuss Science Center houses the university’s departments of biology, chemistry, physics, geology, mathematics and computer science along with programs in biochemistry, molecular biology, marine biology, health professions and environmental studies. The new center’s design encourages interaction between students, faculty and the science disciplines, as it prepares Wittenberg students for leadership roles in tomorrow’s laboratories.