Westminster Receives $10 Million Gift to Fund New Science Building
January 23, 2006
Largest Single Gift in College’s History Comes from John and Ginger Giovale
SALT LAKE CITY - Westminster College President Michael Bassis announced today, the college has received the largest single gift in its history-$10 million to be paid over 5 years-from Ginger and John Giovale of Flagstaff, Arizona. The gift will go toward helping Westminster construct a new $30 million, 60,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art Science Center and endow a faculty chair in science.
In reference to the gift, Ginger Giovale remarked, “I have always believed that a good education can not only have a positive influence in transforming an individual’s life, but also the country and, indeed, the world. This gift is only made possible by the creative work of W.L. Gore associates worldwide, many of whom have received just such an education.”
“This generous gift will support Westminster's growing science programs. We seek to prepare science majors for important careers and to promote scientific literacy among all Westminster graduates. The science curriculum our faculty has developed includes a variety of active, experiential, collaborative, and cross-disciplinary learning designs and provides students with abundant opportunities to engage in undergraduate research,” said President Michael Bassis.
The new science center will support cutting-edge technologies such as wireless computing, image capturing microscopes, modeling and miniaturization capabilities and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance capability. The college will build the facility using LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified techniques, modeling the college's commitment to environmental responsibility. The center will also employ an open architecture with multiple shared and integrated spaces to provide high performance classrooms and 14 laboratories that can easily be reconfigured as the curriculum changes over time.
Ginger Giovale is the daughter of Wilbert L. (Bill) and Genevieve (Vieve) Gore, lifetime partners and co-founders of W.L Gore and Associates, Inc. Ginger serves on the Board of Directors of W.L. Gore and Associates, Inc. and serves as Chair of the Westminster College Board of Trustees. Ginger’s husband John Giovale is a retired associate of W.L. Gore and Associates and served the company as a business leader in the medical products division for many years.
PROJECTED TOTAL COST: $30 million
- 60,000 square feet on 3 floors
- 14 undergraduate research labs, 14 regular labs, 2 seminar classrooms, 2 general classrooms, 1 informatics lab, greenhouse spaces and vegetative roof.
- A 10-fold increase in the amount of space available for undergraduate research.
- Designed with an open architecture providing multiple shared and integrated learning environments.
- High-performance classrooms and laboratories can be easily reconfigured as the curriculum evolves over time.
- Clustered faculty offices and student work spaces promote interaction among faculty and students across disciplines.
- The new building will support cutting-edge and evolving technologies such as wireless computing; image capturing microscopes; modeling and miniaturization capabilities, and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) capability.
- The adaptable infrastructure will create a mechanically superior and safer working environment for research.
- The design allows for maximum flexibility to integrate new technologies as they emerge over time.
- The building will model the college’s commitment to environmental responsibility and is designed with a goal of achieving “gold” recognition as a LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) certified building. LEED is a rating system developed by the US Green Building Council (www.usgbc.org). The goal of the USGBC is to get organizations to build high performance, sustainable buildings.
- This recognition will further distinguish Westminster as among the leading colleges and universities across the country and as one of the few college science buildings with this certification in Utah.
- We have made a commitment to create an environmentally sensitive building, from the materials that are used to the heating and lighting systems.
WESTMINSTER’S SCIENCE PROGRAMS:
- The science curriculum is vital to our science students as well as to nursing students, our education students, who will teach science at the elementary and secondary school level, and to promoting essential scientific literacy among all our students.
- 11 full-time faculty teach in the undergraduate science program at Westminster College.
- Our science majors include biology, chemistry, and physics.
Select Comments From Speakers at
Westminster Press Conference Announcing
$10 Million Gift for New Science Building
Michael Bassis, President of Westminster College
Ginger and John understand the importance of science to the future. They understand that America is in grave danger of losing its preeminent position as the leading producer of scientific talent. This gift helps to address that problem for it is a long term investment in a program with a wonderful track record of preparing the next generation of scientists.
This new Science Center is an extension of our philosophy that the most powerful learning takes place when it is active, experiential, collaborative and cross-disciplinary learning. Our students do not learn about biology or chemistry or physics using traditional methods. Instead, working in collaboration with each other and with their faculty, they conduct original research as a way to master the orientations and skills needed to understand and to conduct rigorous research - research that can advance our understanding of the world in which we live and the universe in which we exist.
Peter Meldrum, President and CEO of Myriad Genetics
President and CEO of Myriad Genetics, Inc., a trustee here at Westminster and a long time chair of Westminster’s Science Advisory Council.
The State of Utah is moving toward a leadership position in the field of genetics and biotechnology… However, we need more young scientists to continue these efforts. Not only do we need scientists and laboratory researchers, but graduates in all disciplines who have had an exposure to and have developed an understanding of science.
Westminster is committed to producing the future leaders in science who are prepared to lead lives of learning, accomplishment and service. We have an exceptional faculty who are not only on the leading edge of science education and innovation, but deeply care about our students and are willing mentors. The students at Westminster are eager to tackle these challenges and continue the advancement of Utah’s life science industry. It is therefore very exciting for me to be here today to see this dream begin to become a reality with the generous $10 million gift from John and Ginger Giovale.
Paul Hooker, Associate Professor of Chemistry
The vision for this building began 6 years ago when the science faculty and administration started the planning process. At this time it was obvious that the current facility, Science and Malouf Halls, were woefully inadequate to accommodate growing programs, innovative teaching pedagogies, and undergraduate research.
What has materialized in the planning process is an innovative building that will serve the students at Westminster College well into the future. The boundary between research space, laboratory space, and classrooms has been purposefully blurred so that new and effective teaching techniques can be employed. In the new building we have designed rooms where we will be able to move seamlessly from hands-on activities where students will develop their critical thinking skills in guided inquiry experiments, to where the data can be shared and concepts processed with the professor.
Bonnie Baxter, Associate Professor of Biology
I am here to echo the message of gratitude and of excitement regarding this gift.
Since I came 8 year ago, we have doubled our science student population and developed an undergraduate research program that produces nationally competitive students.
Michael Acord, Science Student at Westminster College
I can truly say doing research here has been one the greatest and most valuable experiences of my undergraduate career.
We are looking forward to the new building as an opportunity to grow. With the generous endowment more students will be able to do research directly on campus, whereas before, students in our group have had to use other laboratories to perform basic experiments. This great addition to the science program will allow future students to benefit from Westminster just as much if not more, than I have.