"If you bring creative professors together with dedicated students in a state-of-the-art facility, the possibilities are infinite." Those words by Congressman Sherwood L. Boehlert, chairman of the House Committee on Science, summed up the sentiment of the overflow crowd that packed into the new Science Center's atrium at its official dedication on Sept. 30.
The building, said Boehlert, illustrates that Hamilton understands that science must be a central part of education so that students may become informed and involved citizens and have the basic tools necessary to analyze public issues. He cited statistics illustrating that small liberal arts colleges, not research universities, have the best record of graduating students who go on to receive Ph.D.s in science, mathematics or engineering. "Hamilton is a classic example," Boehlert said. "This building is a 'breeding ground' for future scientists and engineers."
The dedication events spanned three days that began with a lecture by Jared Diamond, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies. Alumni and students displayed their research during a poster session and listened as panels of experts debated stem-cell research and discussed trends in medical education.
A symposium and lectures featured alumni scientists who discussed their work. Among them was Ivan King '47, a research professor of astronomy at the University of Washington, who took the audience through a tour of the universe courtesy of the Hubble Space Telescope. King joined Jacqueline Barton, the Arthur and Marian Hanisch Memorial Professor of Chemistry at the California Institute of Technology, in receiving honorary degrees.