BY CRYSTAL WELK | STAFF WRITER
After more than 20 years in the making, efforts for PLNU’s new science complex can now finally be called done. The dedication of Sator and Latter Hall took place Friday to a crowd of more than 100 donors, alumni, faculty and students.
The dedication opened with a prayer from Melanie Irwin Oakes of Research Associates.
“Reign over their minds, reign over their thoughts,” Oakes prayed to the facility’s future students, “that their occupations may reflect toward your glory and to the intellectual gain and to the advantage of this community.”
After the prayer, Executive Vice President Joe Watkins reminded the audience that the dedication is not only a celebration of the facility, but also a commitment to science. “It is also a recognition that the highest standards of science research can be achieved under the presence of a strong commitment to faith in Christ and that there is nothing to be feared at the intersection of science and faith,” said Watkins.
Watkins addressed each group of people involved in the project and asked them to stand while the crown recognized them.
These included, students, donors, members of Research Associates, members of the President’s Horizon Circle, professors, organizations, and the Board of Trustees.
Jerry Sanders, former San Diego mayor and current president and CEO of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, spoke next.
Sanders noted the importance of educational institutions in achieving this goal.
“Today we celebrate more than a building,” said Sanders. “This is an investment.”
Sanders said that Sator and Latter Hall are not only investments in PLNU, but in the broader San Diego community.
Provost and Chief Academic Officer Kerry Fulcher commented on the architecture of the building and how the design displays symbolic themes and messages. The stainless steel wall with alpha and omega cut outs rep- resent science and faith. This wall’s functionality serves to reflect light off toward Rohr Hall.
“The light and the shadows that occupy the space in between this wall and the building itself creates a space that symbolizes the mystery of over- lapping boundaries between what is known and unknown,” said Fulcher.
Natasha Medici, a senior biology- chemistry major, spoke about hard work it took to get the science facility built. She added that Rohr and Boney
Hall will remain special to her, but acknowledged that they had many limitations.
“Current freshman at PLNU will never know the struggle of performing chemistry labs sharing one fume hood or performing summer research in cramped quarters,” said Medici.
Medici said that the new facilities will allow the PLNU science department to better equip and launch students into professional graduate schools.
Ken Martin, former Chair of the Chemistry Department, spoke on behalf of the Science Program. He acknowledged donors, contributors, and founders of the science department.
“This moment also wouldn’t have happened without the vision and hard work of those who built the academic programs that these new buildings will house,” said Martin.
Current Chair of the Chemistry Department Sara Choung added that the science facility will run successfully due to the faculty and staff members.
“I can attest that my faculty and staff colleagues in Rohr Science are incredible teachers, talented researchers, gifted mentors, and genuine believers,” Sara Choung said.
PLNU President Bob Brower said that there were many times along the way that hindered the advancement of the project, including the events of Sept. 11, and the 2008 financial crisis.
“Had we built it then, it wouldn’t be what we need now and for the future. And as difficult as these years have been, this is the right time,” Brower said.
After the concluding remarks and benediction, Sator and Latter Hall was open for self-guided tours.