WINONA LAKE — Community members gathered at Grace College tonight, Oct. 5, to celebrate a great achievement, the grand opening of the newly completed $8.5 million Dr. Dane A. Miller Science Complex.
This new science complex involved the renovation and expansion of the Cooley Science Center, which has served the science and math departments since 1978.
The project was made possible through the generosity of over 200 donors, most notably Dr. Dane and Mary Louise Miller, Zimmer Biomet, the K21 Health Foundation and friends of the college.
Dr. Dane Miller was co-founder and former CEO of Biomet. Before his passing in 2015, he and Mary Louise discussed the importance and relevance of Grace’s science center in educating the next generation. Zimmer Biomet also contributed significantly to the project to honor the immeasurable influence Dr. Miller had on the orthopedics industry and its company.
During the ceremony, Mary Louise Miller was presented with a photo frame as a gift for her generosity. Included with pictures of the newly completed complex was a note that Dr. Dane Miller wrote years ago. The note asked the question, “What thoughts do you have on priorities?” Dr. Dane Miller wrote, “Science.”
Executive Vice President and CFO of Zimmer Biomet Dan Florin, Grace College President Dr. Bill Katip, Mary Louise Miller, President and CEO of K21 Health Foundation Rich Haddad and Chemistry Professor Dr. Snyder all participated in a grand opening experiment creating ice cream to celebrate the grand opening.
The new building includes upgraded learning labs, the campus’ first classroom-in-the-round and a green roof. With over 22,500 square feet renovated from the previous building and 13,000 new square feet, the building will serve 220 students pursuing 13 different science majors and 11 pre-professional tracks.
But the facility will also benefit the community as well as the students at Grace College. The most notable example of this is the dedicated space inside the building for the Lilly Center for Lakes and Streams. The research Grace students are conducting also benefit the community, such as chemistry students testing water at the Fort Wayne Zoo and recently discovering a new organic compound.
“Over the year’s Grace has really seen that relationship strengthened with the community,” commented Grace College President Dr. Bill Katip. “It would not have happened without Warsaw and Kosciusko County.”
This project was a feature project of Grace College’s Aspire Campaign. When asked what the next project on the horizon was, Vice President of Advancement Dr. Drew Flamm responded that there were no concrete plans but they want it to impact the student experience.