Completing an aggressive plan to provide funding for a major addition to McFarland Science Center is the highest priority of the Lipscomb:Next Campaign for the first half of 2014.
The $8.5 million project will add a total of 24,000 square feet to the west side of the center and will include six new laboratories for organic chemistry, biochemistry, microbiology and human anatomy and physiology. Nashville’s Metro Council has already approved the project, and the goal is to complete fund raising by May.
“Lipscomb’s history of excellence and success in the sciences is very attractive to prospective students. About 45 percent of the incoming freshman class in recent years has majored in the natural or health sciences and we expect that demand to continue,” said Norma Bond Burgess, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.
“If we are to continue to grow our pre-professional programs, add exciting new graduate programs and accelerate our biomedical research program, expanding and renovating McFarland is essential,” Burgess said.
McFarland opened in 1967, when Lipscomb’s student body was less than 2,100 students. Today’s university enrollment is rapidly approaching 5,000 students. Programs in nursing and pharmacy, a new emphasis on research at the graduate and undergraduate levels, and a master’s degree in biomolecular science have been added.
Premedicine is now the top interest among incoming freshmen. Since Lipscomb became broadly recognized for the quality of its premedical program in the 1980s,, the number of science faculty has doubled and the science enrollment has more than doubled. An aging McFarland is bursting at the seams, with lab sessions often running late into the night to accommodate the demand.
Plans call for the addition to honor current and former faculty members most often mentioned by donors to the project as highly influential in their lives and careers. These include Phillip Choate M.D., professor of biology; the late Dr. David O. Johnston, former Justin Potter Distinguished Professor of Chemistry; Dr. Paul Langford, former chair of the Department of Chemistry and the Premedical Committee; the late Dr. Ralph Nance, former chair of the Department of Physics and Engineering Science; Dr. John Netterville Sr., former chemistry chair; and the late Dr. Oliver Yates, former chair of the Department of Biology.