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Cornerstone dedicated during move-in day

August 26, 2011

Andy Drea/The Courier - Monmouth College President Mauri Ditzler and Chairmen of the Board of Trustees David Byrnes unveil the cornerstone of the new science and business building currently under construction in front of Huff Athletic Center.

As the class of 2015 began their Monmouth College careers by moving in to their freshmen residence halls, Monmouth College trustees and area leaders gathered on the Wallace Hall lawn to continue the 400-year-old practice of dedicating the cornerstone of a new building – in this case, the cornerstone of the new science and business building. After a series of speeches, President Mauri Ditzler and David Byrnes, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, unveiled the cornerstone. On it are the names of the contractor and architect, along with 2011, symbolizing the year that construction began.

“We fully believe that constructing this building now is by far the single greatest thing we can do,” said Byrnes.

The $40 million dollar facility will be constructed over the course of the next year. At its completion, it will house the science and business departments, featuring 14 research labs, a tax preparation room, a greenhouse, and two lecture halls.

“Before you graduate in 2015, most, if not all of you, will spend a considerable amount of time in the new complex,” said Byrnes to the few incoming freshmen at the event.

He recapped his matriculation at the college and his experience with the then-new state of the art science building, Haldeman-Thiessen.

“I started college as a science major,” said Byrnes. “I recall being amazed at the new facility … Just imagine, in 40 years or so, one of you might be standing here as chairman of the board sharing similar stories. But, that’s what Monmouth College is all about.”

State Sen. John Sullivan spoke to the crowd of his experiences at Quincy College, now Quincy University, a small, liberal arts college in Quincy, Ill.

“I tell everybody that experience of being a graduate of a small college … is without a doubt the best education I could have receive,” said Sullivan. “Monmouth College is additionally an institution that carries those same values I learned at Quincy College.”

He also spoke of complications with the passage of a capital bill that would help Monmouth College secure money for the project.

“It’s been a long journey,” he said. “Sometimes there have been steps forward, sometimes we had to step back, just like the college did.”

Faculty Senate President Stacy Lotz also addressed the crowd as did Associated Students of Monmouth College President Alex Holt. The science and business building will feature the cornerstone unveiled at the ceremony along with a garden made with soil brought from the homes of members of the class of 2015.

Andy Drea

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