Whittier College celebrates grand opening of the Science & Learning Center

Whittier College welcomed hundreds of members of the Poet community to dedicate the newly renovated Science & Learning Center (SLC).

President Sharon Herzberger was joined by a member of the Whittier City Council, senior staff, faculty, trustees, students, and more in cutting the ribbon on the building’s south side, which serves as a renewed gateway to the campus.

Whittier College President Sharon Herzberger speaks at the ribbon cutting ceremony for the Science & Learning Center.

“This project, the largest in our history, has been hoped for and anticipated for many years,” Herzberger said in a speech at the ribbon cutting on Sept. 23. “It took the creativity, imagination, extraordinary planning, excellent supervision, monumental generosity, and so many hours of fine craftsmanship and diligent work to bring us to this momentous occasion.”

The five-story building features laboratories for both teaching and research, including the Newsom Research Lab, the building’s largest oratory, and the Yao Yuan Sze Foundation Movement Laboratory, an innovative space where students explore the dynamics of physical movement. On the roof, the Suomi Lookout Deck offers breathtaking views of Los Angeles and the Whittier Hills, as well as a vantage point and home for astronomy students’ telescopes.

Glen Piner looks into a telescope on the roof of the Science & Learning Center.

The SLC is also filled with 15 general-purpose classrooms “that will be used by all constituencies on campus, not just science students,” said Professor of Physics Seamus Lagan. In fact, the building houses 80 percent of all instruction at the College.

The SLC’s adaptable spaces, from flexible classrooms and shared lounges to blended offices, encourage students and faculty from across disciplines to work together on challenging questions and complex problems.

“This goes right to the heart of what defines an exceptional liberal arts education: teaching students to see the world and its challenges and opportunities from multiple perspectives,” Herzberger said. “… Deep scientific literacy coupled with the breadth of our liberal arts education sets Whittier students apart in the job market and prepares them to make important contributions in this world.”

See more photos from the ribbon cutting ceremony in the gallery below.