Undergraduate Science Building Dedication
Sept. 26, 2007
Thank you, Phil, and thank you to everyone who has come together today to celebrate this newest jewel in our life sciences efforts.
Listening to Phil Hanlon and Terry McDonald detail the many, many attributes of this building and the programs it houses, I couldn’t help but reflect a bit on what it felt like to be an undergraduate with a desire to study science.
I have never had a quibble about my studies in chemistry, as they allowed me to explore a passion I discovered as a junior high student.
But knowing everything we have to offer in the Undergraduate Science Building makes me want to be a college student once again!
The greatest attribute this facility offers is the sense of synergy within its walls. Our students can find not only beautiful labs, studios and study spaces, they also can experience encouragement, support, opportunities, and the genuine excitement that comes with scientific discovery.
This is essential for students interested in the sciences. As Provost Sullivan indicated, this building will feed their scientific interests. And we celebrate science and research at Michigan. Our latest numbers tell us that U-M’s research productivity in 2006–07 was more than $820 million, making us one of the leading research institutions in the nation.
This remarkable scientific enterprise starts with attracting the best students, and the finest faculty. And facilities like the USB make that recruiting all the easier.
Yet I believe a thriving teaching and research environment in the sciences is equally important for our non-science students.
We need our students, regardless of their career interests, to be scientifically literate, because scientific literacy is absolutely necessary in today’s society. Just a glance of a newspaper requires a basic knowledge of global warming, nutrition, genetics, and stem cells. This is the language of tomorrow, and it is being taught in the Undergraduate Science Building.
I want to add to the chorus of thank-yous being extended today to the countless individuals who helped make this building a reality. Along with taking the time to explore the building this afternoon, I encourage everyone to extend congratulations to those who played such an important role in expanding the sciences at Michigan.