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St. Olaf College reaches science campaign goal, names building

Steve Blodgett
February 21, 2008

Science Campaign Beaker
St. Olaf College Board of Regents Chair O. Jay Tomson '58 and President David R. Anderson '74 announced today that the college had met its goal of raising $33 million for new science and mathematics facilities. As of the third week of February 2008, $33.1 million in gifts and pledges had been received.

The board also has approved the name for the building: Regents Hall of Natural and Mathematical Sciences. The Science Complex Design Team and the Science Complex Oversight Committee had recommended the name in recognition of the efforts of the board throughout the fund-raising campaign.

"The tremendous outpouring of support for the science campaign shows the depth of commitment by alumni, faculty and staff, and friends to the educational needs of our students," says Anderson. "The new Science Complex, designed to promote interdisciplinary learning, will take St. Olaf's already strong science programs to the highest level."

Publicly unveiled in July 2006, Beyond Imagination: The St. Olaf Campaign for the Future of Math + Science envisioned the completion of a new 180,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility that will blend disciplinary and interdisciplinary teaching and research, facilitate close student-faculty interaction and provide technology-rich classrooms and laboratories for the natural sciences.

O. Jay Tomson '58, chair of the St. Olaf Board of Regents, addressed a large crowd in Buntrock Commons during an event that celebrated the success of the campaign Feb. 21.
An accompanying 14,000-square-foot renovation of Old Music Hall, to be undertaken during the 2008-09 academic year, will provide new dedicated space for mathematics, statistics and computer sciences. A connecting link between the two buildings that contains another 9,000 square feet of space will support ongoing collaboration between the mathematics and science disciplines.

Groundbreaking for Regents' Hall took place in December 2006 and the $63 million facility will open prior to the commencement of fall classes on Sept. 3, 2008. A building dedication is planned for October in conjunction with Homecoming and Family Weekend.

Among the milestones in the Beyond Imagination campaign were a matching gift program through the 3M Foundation that raised more than $784,000 by encouraging employees and retirees of 3M with St. Olaf connections to become involved; a Regent's challenge to current and former members of the St. Olaf Board of Regents, led by the Boldt family, O. Jay '58 and Pat Tomson '59, and Jerry '60 and Alleen Tostrud '61, that brought in $6 million; a faculty, staff and emeriti challenge that garnered nearly $925,000; and a December 2007 challenge gift by an anonymous donor that was fulfilled and resulted in an additional $3.5 million.

Contact Steve Blodgett at 507-786-3316 or