NEWBURGH – Mount Saint Mary College has been awarded a $600,000 challenge grant from The Kresge Foundation to help fund the college’s Kaplan Family Mathematics, Science and Technology Center.
The 53,000-square-foot MST Center is helping the college respond to the need for nurses and math and science teachers. The three-story facility, which was added onto the west side of Aquinas Hall, was dedicated in May. The $25 million project also included the renovation of more than 12,000 square feet in Aquinas Hall.
The college’s capital campaign, Answering the Call, raised $10.2 million for the center, including $5 million from the Kaplan Family Foundations, according to Joseph Valenti, vice president for college advancement.
The Kresge Foundation, based in Troy, Michigan, awards its prestigious and highly competitive grants on a challenge basis to assist the completion of capital campaigns. The foundation provides the grant only after all other campaign funds have been pledged. The Kresge challenge grant aims to help institutions like the Mount broaden their traditional base of support, encouraging wider community involvement to secure an institution’s vitality.
The Kresge Foundation is a $2.8 billion private, national foundation that seeks to influence the quality of life for future generations through its support of nonprofit organizations in six fields: health, the environment, arts and culture, education, human services and community development. In 2008, it awarded 342 grants totaling $181 million. For more information, visit www.kresge.org.
The United States has a dire need for health professionals and teachers of mathematics and science. According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, the nation is experiencing a nursing shortage that will intensify as baby boomers age and health care needs grow. And educators, business leaders and government officials continue to express concern over the country falling behind in mathematics, science, technology and innovation, and the lack of qualified mathematics and science teachers.
“Mount Saint Mary College has established a strong reputation for preparing health professionals and teachers,” said Fr. Kevin E. Mackin, OFM, president of the Catholic and Dominican college in the Hudson River Valley. “Enrollment in education, mathematics, natural science and nursing is growing and better equipped facilities will help us to keep up with the demand.”
As demonstrated in its Math/Science/Technology courses, the Mount fosters a discovery, hands-on, inquiry-based approach to teaching. The center’s new laboratories will facilitate this approach and the advances in technology and their influence on teaching magnify the need for this project.
A three-story atrium dominates the center and creates a bright, open atmosphere. The 3,000-square-foot atrium provides a gathering space and café outside Aquinas Theatre.
The center has 17 instructional spaces, with 10 teaching laboratories, including a patient simulation lab and a nursing hospital practice lab; 14 laboratory preparation spaces; eight informal learning spaces; a research laboratory; a science instrumentation laboratory; two seminar/conference rooms and three academic office suites with 26 faculty and staff offices.