CAMPUS LIFE EDITOR
Murmurs of the restless crowd fell to a hush as President Sharon Herzberger approached the microphone in front of the Science and Learning Center (SLC) where she greeted the audience with a joyful welcome.
Despite the heat, everyone remained in a cheerful mood at the grand opening of the SLC and the crowd admired the yellow and purple balloons and streamers decorating the space. The event gave Board of Trustee members and donors the ability to see first-hand the project they have been supporting. After hearing remarks from various professors and guest speakers, such as Professor Seamus Lagan and senior President Amer Rashid, the crowd cheered and applauded as the ceremonial ribbon was cut. Those in attendance were then offered a tour through the massive building.
The group was shown the various rooms of the SLC which included departments such as Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics among others. People wandered by the second floor Anderson Colloquia, the largest room for lectures and gatherings in the SLC, before admiring study alcoves and lounges located on the third floor. Currently the SLC has 14 research laboratories, the largest being the Newsom Research Lab. The fifth floor is the Suomi Roof Deck, complete with four classrooms, green space and champagne bottles popping to celebrate the occasion with a sunset view. The Yao Yuan Sze Foundation Movement Laboratory, where Kinesiology students can observe the body in motion, is located on the first floor.
After the self-guided tour, all attendees were welcomed to dinner in the Upper Quad. “[The] tour had some swell student staff peppered throughout the building to answer any questions. They were all very nice and cordial and I know the alumni appreciated them,” sophomore Bryceton Scurr said. “The dinner gave everybody a chance to sit down and mingle, while some alumni were able to reminisce about their own memories of the school.”
While some students felt welcomed by the words of the various speakers, others felt more uncomfortable with some of the remarks made.“I thought [the ceremony] was just about pleasing the donors. I thought they were overpraising things a little bit [as if to say] ‘hey you didn’t waste your money or anything,’” sophomore Brenda Shanahan said. “I think [having a new science building] is important though, because there wasn’t much space for certain classes before and it especially helps Science majors.”
After dinner, the sun had set on a memorable evening and the string of lights zig-zagging above allowed alumni and staff to chat pleasantly about the night. The opening of new the building allowed trustees and donors to observe what the campus has been creating for the past year and a half, while Whittier offered its thanks in return.