The Sciences at Augustana
The centerpiece of the $120 million Momentum Augustana Campaign, the most aggressive fundraising effort in the College’s history, is the construction of a new science facility and the renovation of the existing Gilbert Science Center.
The new building will be named in honor of Dr. Sven G. Froiland, professor of biology, who served as chair of the biology department and chair of the Natural Sciences Division. Froiland served Augustana from 1946 to 1987 and was the central figure in the design and construction of the Gilbert Science Center, built in 1966.
Augustana can already tout one of the top science programs in the region. Here at Augustana:
- learning is grounded in a “culture of discovery”
- undergraduates do cutting-edge work in a nationally recognized research program
- students benefit from Augustana’s proximity to a burgeoning community of biomedical and biotechnical research and medical excellence
- faculty are committed first and foremost to teaching, mentoring and the success of their students
- students learn in an interdisciplinary, research-based environment and test well above national averages.
News of the project comes at a critical time for Augustana. Students who are pursuing majors within the Natural Sciences have been steadily on the rise. For the 2011-2012 academic year, the College reported a 42 percent increase in biology majors from five years prior; a 51 percent increase in chemistry majors; and a 28 percent increase in physics majors.
Of the students enrolled during the 2011- 2012 academic year, roughly 40 percent identified themselves as natural science majors, most of whom will pursue graduate and professional school training upon their graduation.
The College’s undergraduate Summer Research Program is also growing. From May through August, 70 Augustana students were hard at work conducting scientific and biomedical research and/or completing internships or volunteer positions at facilities throughout the U.S. as part of the Program, an initiative that places undergraduates in the field at laboratories, hospitals and study tanks throughout the U.S.
These exceptional results will only continue if, in addition to maintaining a remarkable faculty, Augustana succeeds in keeping pace with the facility demands of modern science education.
An early leadership gift for the Science Complex project is generously provided by Augustana Trustee Dr. Greg Schultz (class of 1974) and his wife Karen Devick-Schultz (class of 1975). “Augustana is such an extraordinary place to learn and grow — intellectually, spiritually and physically. For those of us whose careers were shaped and launched at Augie, giving back is a joy and a privilege.”
A more recent gift, the “Paul Mohrman Family Lab,” will focus on ecological research, an initiative alumnus Paul Mohrman, class of 1972, and his wife, Julie, hold close to their hearts.