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Spectrum

Foundation awards major grant for science equipment, instrumentation

The Sherman Fairchild Foundation awarded Lake Forest College a nearly half-million-dollar grant for new scientific equipment and instrumentation to equip its expanded science facilities and better serve students’ expanding interest in pursuing science majors.

The generous gift will provide more than $120,000 per year for four consecutive years, beginning with 2017–2018, to purchase critical instrumentation and equipment for all departments that will be housed in the Lillard Science Center and to launch a program in biochemistry and molecular biology.

“The Foundation’s gift comes at a critical time for the College as it coincides with the major expansion of our science facilities,” Krebs Provost and Dean of the Faculty Michael Orr said.

The College broke ground last summer on the Lillard Science Center, a $43 million expansion and renovation of the College’s current science facilities. Following two years of construction, the 130,000-square-foot Lillard Science Center will open to students in the fall of 2018. Designed to be interdisciplinary in nature, the facility will bring together teaching and research in biology, chemistry, environmental studies, neuroscience, physics, and psychology, as well as a new program in biochemistry and molecular biology.

“From the outset of the planning for our new building, it has been a priority that the renovated and expanded science center further our effort to support interdisciplinary collaboration and expand our students’ understanding of the interdisciplinary nature of modern science,” said Laurence R. Lee Professor of Biology and Science Building Project Coordinator Doug Light.

In addition, the grant will further expand the College’s focus on offering opportunities for meaningful student research at the undergraduate level.

“Our science program is founded squarely upon a long-standing pedagogical philosophy of striving for students to think and act as scientists,” Orr said. “This is a philosophy upon which we have based our science curriculum and from which we have seen students flourish in their post-baccalaureate careers.”

At present, nearly 40 percent of students plan to major in the sciences at Lake Forest College.