Friday, April 20, 2012

UVU's newest addition - Science Building

View from the atrium of the new Science Building

Today is the open house and ribbon cutting for the new Science Building.  As I sat in the 400-seat auditorium next to the aisle, a myriad of important civic and community leaders and UVU faculty passed by.  Orem Mayor James Evans, Congressmen Jason Chaffetz, Bill ...? , President of United Way (can't remember his last name at the moment, sorry.  He was on the Mountainland Head Start Board when I was the Policy Council President and got to go to the board meetings), of course Dean Rushforth (Dean of the College of Science and Health) and President Holland, and some legislators, regents, donors.

Dean Rushforth started things off with many nice words about all the people who made this possible.  He said when he came on as the Dean "at the same time Moses brought the tablets down from the mountain", he immediately recognized the need for growth.  Ten years ago he talked to legislators about getting funding, nine years ago he talked to them again, eight years ago, etc.  And then President Holland arrives at UVU and 2 years later here we are in the new building.  "Does that seem fair to you?" he asked amidst laughter from the crowd.

President Holland spoke next and teased Dean Rushforth but then got serious and complimented all his hard work and there was a very long applaus.  He thanked more people but he also pointed out a student who had a huge impact on getting this building funded.  Kristopher Lange - he was the UVU Student Association senator for the college of science and health.  He talked to legislators, students, led marches on capital hill, thousands signed a petition, students collected old shoes to raise money (I remember those bins being in the halls!).  He was very influential and did all this through his college career even though he would personally never take a class in the new building.

Project Sole helped gather money for the Science Building

 He was invited up and spoke for a few minutes, and gave quite a stirring speech about how and why he did this.  He received the longest applause out of anyone, which was very appropriate.  What a great influential and inspiring person.
President Holland gave a great quote from ...... about science and what it should and shouldn't be used for.  I need to look that up too!  It was cool.  While he was talking I suddenly had a flashback to General Conference because he sounded exactly like his father! (President Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)  And of course he looks just like him too.
Jeffrey R. Holland
Matthew S. Holland

Governor Herbert spoke next and was very complimentary toward UVU.  A bunch of the lights turned out in the middle of his speech to which he said, "I also, as part of my campaign, focus on renewable energy... and working to prevent brown outs..." :)  They got them back on quickly but it was funny.

Finally, we got to go out into the atrium which is just an open commons area outside of the auditorium for the ribbon cutting.  I went upstairs to watch from above.  By the way, I'm totally kicking myself for not bringing my camera today - it's even in my car.  But, I digress...
Since this is, after all, a science center, they said they aren't going to just "cut" the ribbon, but instead do something much more scientific.  So Danny Horns, Assistant Dean, poured liquid nitrogen on the ribbon and then the ribbon "cutters" used rock hammers on it!  It was awesome.

They did a great job with this open house and party.  They had a luncheon with some food that was science themed - Sub Zero Ice Cream came with their ice cream made with liquid nitrogen.  They also had "atom melon balls" - melon balls connected with tooth picks, colored celery with a display of them in colored water, and "mad scientist mix".  There were also some freebies - t-shirts, water bottles, info.  Good stuff!

I took a tour and this building is so sweet!  The towers that are visible from the freeway - 2 glass things pointed on top - are cool and there are neat study areas housed in them.  There is a greenhouse on the roof, tons of labs and classrooms.  The physiology and anatomy lab rooms are really awesome, I'm kinda bummed I already took those classes.  They have neat ventilated tables for the cadavers, so the smell wouldn't have been such a problem for me if I'd taken it in the new building.

I'm so excited to have classes in the new building for summer!  And now, back to studying for finals...

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