WINONA LAKE — Grace College plans to break ground on the Dr. Dane A. Miller Science Complex at its Winona Lake campus in the spring of 2017.
The new science complex will renovate and expand the Cooley Science Center, which has served the department of science and mathematics since 1978. The project was made possible through donations by Dr. Dane and Mary Louise Miller, Zimmer Biomet and friends of the college. In all, $5.5 million has been raised for the project to date.
For nearly 40 years, Grace’s science center has ably prepared physicians, researchers and professors to serve others and improve lives. In that time, the department of science and mathematics has grown sixfold. Today, more than 220 students are pursuing 13 different science majors and 11 pre-professional tracks at Grace.
The science center also houses the Center for Lakes and Streams, an education and research center focused on the more than 100 lakes and streams in Kosciusko County. The center, along with increased interest in environmental science courses and market demand for graduates with these skills, has made updated and expanded lab space a necessity.
The Millers have had a longstanding friendship with Grace College and worked with the leadership on several joint projects to make the college and community stronger. Dr. Dane Miller was co-founder of Biomet and its CEO for 39 years. Before his passing in 2015, he and Mary Louise discussed the importance and relevance of Grace’s science center in educating the next generation. “Dane was very interested in renovating Grace’s science center,” said Mary Louise.
“The Millers’ significant gift was the catalyst for this project,” said Dr. Bill Katip, president of Grace College. “We encouraged Mary Louise to allow us to name the science complex in memory of Dane, and she agreed.”
“Dane would be elated about the new complex and deeply honored that Grace would recognize him in this way,” said Mary Louise. “This will be the greatest visible tribute to Dane’s legacy in our community.”
Zimmer Biomet also contributed significantly to the project to honor the immeasurable influence Dr. Miller had on the orthopedics industry and its Company. “Dane was a true innovator in our industry and in our community,” said Zimmer Biomet President and CEO David Dvorak. “We are pleased to have an opportunity to nurture that value in the next generation of leaders.”
Modernizing the science center will include the construction of contemporary and upgraded labs to train future doctors and nurses, classrooms for engineering and math students, a hub for lake and stream research, additional office and multi-use space.
The funds raised have initiated architectural drawings and construction bids. “Our aspirations are now actualities,” said Grace College Vice President of Advancement Drew Flamm. “We’ve been dreaming of and planning for a new science complex that resources our students and equips our faculty to be leaders in their fields. We’re now well on our way toward that reality.”
The attached image is a conceptual rendering of the future Dr. Dane A. Miller Science Complex at Grace College.