Roanoke College science center gets fundraising boost from past president | Education

A $3.5 million gift to Roanoke College from one of its past presidents will support a student research endowment and a planned science center, according to an announcement Monday.

The college’s ninth president and first lady, David and Susan Gring, made the donation, bringing the school to $50 million out of $70 million raised for the construction of the new center.

David Gring said in the announcement he wanted to see the science center built during his own tenure as president, but it was not to be.

“I’m a scientist. All of my degrees are in biology and genetics, so there’s a warm spot in my heart for the place of science in a premier liberal arts college where students and faculty are engaged in the excitement of co-inquiry,” David Gring said. “When built, the Science Center will provide a facility that matches the quality of the faculty and students who will teach, research and learn there.”

Plans for the center include state-of-the-art teaching and learning spaces, and a complete renovation of the Life Sciences and Trexler buildings on campus, according to the announcement. One-third of all courses on campus will be taught in the Science Center.

People are also reading…

In the announcement, college President Michael Maxey said Gring “essentially formalized and extended undergraduate research at Roanoke College during his tenure,” and noted the immensity of the former president’s contribution.

“The new Science Center will impact every student at Roanoke College, and the Grings’ donation gets us that much closer to making the Science Center a reality,” Maxey said. “Science has been an important part of both of their lives, and we are thrilled that they have directed their gift in a way that will bolster the sciences at Roanoke College for future students.”

Every student at Roanoke takes at least three courses from the programs that will be housed in the Science Center, the announcement said. Most student research will take place there, and it will house three of Roanoke College’s 10 most popular majors: psychology, biology and environmental studies.

The plaza of the Science Center will be named the Dr. David M. and Susan D. Gring Plaza. The pair presided at Roanoke College from 1989 to 2004, and David Gring had a career as a college biology and genetics professor and administrator prior to his role leading Roanoke College.

Susan Gring was the first Roanoke College first lady to have a full-time day job, the announcement said. She served as executive director of Carilion Foundation, working to raise money for programs that improve health and welfare of communities in Western Virginia.

“The College today is a place with significant momentum, with excellent faculty and limitless opportunities for students,” Susan Gring said. “Dedicated faculty and a community that cares, those are two of the reasons we are contributing to Roanoke College… we decided to contribute to something we love.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *