MU Hosts Building Dedication Ceremony

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SEPTEMBER 19, 2007
MARIA SIKORYAK-ROBINS
DIRECTOR OF UNIVERSITY PUBLICATIONS

FAYETTEVILLE, NC—Methodist University will dedicate two new buildings Friday, Sept. 21, 2007 at 11:00 a.m. The buildings include a $6.1 million addition to the Science Building and a $4.1 million fitness center. Both of these buildings were funded through the Seeds on Good Soil, A New Season campaign. The event is open to the public and attendees are invited to enjoy refreshments in the Nimocks Fitness Center following the ceremony. Guided tours of the Science Building addition will be offered from 12:00 p.m. - 12:45 p.m.

About the Science Building Addition

Housed on the second floor of the Science Building addition is Methodist University’s new Environmental Simulation Center with its fully-interactive 3-D simulation room. This Center was made possible by the support of U.S. Representatives Bob Etheridge, Mike McIntyre, and Robin Hayes, and U.S. Senators Elizabeth Dole and Richard Burr in a 2005 Department of Energy appropriation.

The Simulation Center will provide computer-animated virtual environment simulations and in-depth examinations of case studies and experiential learning for students. The Center will offer a training site for employees of industry and government to increase awareness in occupational and environmental management and decrease preventable incidents.
Researchers will enter a three-dimensional, wholly-immersive, fully-interactive computer-simulated environment where they will experience potential environmental hazards and determine best management practices while meeting the requirements for occupational and environmental safety regulations. Through this interdisciplinary program, students are taught how to troubleshoot and avoid potential disasters, and how to manage the situation should an incident occur without endangering people or the environment. Initial simulation programs include an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) walk-through of an industrial complex, spill containment of a tanker onto a dirt road, and the poisoning of a municipal water supply.

Artwork in and Around the Science Complex

Methodist University is the proud recipient of new artwork both inside and on either side of the Science complex entrance. In front of the buildings (facing Robert Johnson Drive) are two pieces of artwork designed and constructed by local artist David McCune. The first, closest to the D. Keith Allison Math & Computer Science Building, is of the Greek letter p, used to identify an important ratio in mathematics. The second sculpture, closest to the Science Building, represents the double helix model for the structure of DNA.

David McCune, president of McCune Technology/Fayetteville Steel, has been a professional artist for 15 years. His media include, but are not limited to, metal sculpture, metal wall art, watercolors, photography, acrylic, jewelry, and custom furniture. His pieces range from designer jewelry to a 60,000-pound steel sculpture, and are located in homes, offices, restaurants, historical sites, colleges and universities. His work can be seen in over 25 art galleries in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, and Nevada.

On the first floor of the Science Building addition is a painting of a red-tailed hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) by artist Thomas A. Bennett. Bennett is the current artist-in-residence for the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences. His style emphasizes anatomical accuracy, capturing shade and shadow, and the micro-architecture of fur and feather with striking precision. Often compared to artist John James Audubon, many of Bennett’s paintings are being transformed into limited edition fine art prints and collector plates.

Methodist University is home to two red-tailed hawks, often seen together on the light poles in front of the Horner Administration Building and soaring above the football field during games.

About the Campaign

At its conclusion in 2006, Seeds on Good Soil, A New Season campaign was believed to have raised the largest amount in private dollars—$14.7 million—in the history of Cumberland County, including the first ever $1 million gift to the University. In fact, during the campaign, the University received four $1 million gifts. These included the gift from the Nimocks family to name the Fitness Center, as well as a gift from the Thomas R. and Elizabeth E. McLean Foundation for the Science Building addition. Other significant gifts included $750,000 from BB&T Foundation (the largest corporate gift in Methodist’s history) and $550,000 from the Kresge Foundation. Also significant was the fact that over 2,857 individuals, corporations, and foundations contributed to the campaign. Of this number, 1,385 were alumni; a positive statement given that the University has only 42 years of graduates with an average age of 38 years.

The primary Donor Recognition Wall—honoring those who gave $1,000 or more—is housed in the lobby of the Nimocks Fitness Center, with a smaller recognition wall honoring those that gave specifically to the Science Building addition housed in the lobby of that building.

MU Goes Green

With the potential addition of two new buildings on the north end of campus, Methodist University became concerned about the additional storm water runoff that would be created. Historically, the campus has piped its storm water into a creek which feeds into the Cape Fear River. In an effort not to add to the existing erosion problem in the creek, the University consulted with hydrologist Thomas S. Blue, of BLUE Land, Water, Infrastructure, PA of Southern Pines, N.C., when planning these buildings. Mr. Blue developed a plan for the building sites that employs the current best management practices for storm water runoff.

The plan called for the development of 20 bioretention areas, designed to absorb normal rainfall back into the ground after no more than 48 hours. Half of the areas would be covered with sod, the other half with over 760 plants of 50 species native to the state. This will provide Methodist’s biology department an opportunity to research which plant species and soil compositions are best suited for these applications in the Cape Fear region.

These bioretention areas will be living laboratories, as well as a regional demonstration site for this innovative method of managing storm water. Recognizing the potential of this type of system, PWC partnered with the University on four of the bioretention areas.

Additional Recognition

Thanks to a generous gift from D. Keith Allison and his daughters, Cara Allison, Jacqueline Allison, and Janene D. Aul, the Math & Computer Science Building will be renamed D. Keith Allison Hall.

About the University

Methodist University is an independent four-year institution of higher education with over 2,100 students from 41 states and 30 countries. MU offers over 70 majors and concentrations, three master’s degree programs, and 19 NCAA III intercollegiate sports. For more information, contact Methodist University’s Office of Development at (910) 630-7200.

© 2007 Methodist University, 5400 Ramsey Street, Fayetteville, NC 28311 USA