With the successful conclusion of the $7.3-million “Suter East” campaign, attention now turns to "Suter West," with renovations planned to include state-of-the-art laboratories and facilities for a new engineering program, an update to the iconic SC 106 lecture hall, and new natural history museum. (Photo by Michael Sheeler)

Join the ‘Suter West’ campaign: Phase II renovations will host lab spaces, new engineering program and updated museum

If a building could have a motto, Suter Science Center, named after longtime professor Dr. Daniel B. Suter, might have “Science, service, success” as its memorable catchphrase. Since its opening in 1968, hundreds of students have toiled and muddled through chemistry and biology labs, calculus problems and physics equations – then gone on to successful careers in a rich diversity of professions.

Professors too have prepped, lectured, researched, mentored and encouraged. Now, their work continues, thanks to a successful five-year, $7.3-million “Suter East” campaign, in state-of-the-art laboratories and facilities dedicated over Homecoming and Family Weekend.

“Now that we have beautiful new science labs,” says Vice President for Advancement Kirk Shisler ‘81, “we feel an urgency to bring the western section into the 21st century as well.”

Thus the “Suter West” campaign begins.

The western side of the building, fronting Park Road, is the most commonly used entrance, leading past the D. Ralph Hostetter Museum of Natural History and into the iconic SC 106, where so many EMU students (including President Loren Swartzendruber) have gathered for lectures and presentations.

Some of the excitement for this final phase of renovation comes from an anticipated new undergraduate engineering program. Professors Esther Tian and Daniel King, both engineering specialists, have joined with an expert advisory committee to complete curriculum requirements, with full accreditation anticipated in 2016. Tian holds all three of her degrees, including a doctorate from University of Virginia, in mechanical engineering, while King double-majored in music and physics at Goshen College and went on to earn master’s and doctoral degrees at the University of Illinois in theoretical and applied mechanics.

“Our goal is to raise as much of the $4 million for Suter West as soon as possible, to begin renovations and create a rapid prototyping lab with 3-D printers, computer design lab; engineering support lab, and spaces for faculty/student collaboration to support engineering and our other strong science programs,” Shisler said.

Suter West renovations will also include the museum, which currently attracts hundreds of area schoolchildren for tours and educational programs. These renovations lay the groundwork for greater community outreach through increased museum visits; expanded undergraduate academic offerings; and launch of a mobile museum to take rotating displays to schools and other children’s programs.

A welcoming and open west entrance will also lead visitors into the S-106 lecture hall, where many students have attended classes and lectures, campus movies and other special events. This hall will be named in honor of President Loren Swartzendruber and his wife, Pat.

“We seek leadership gifts to gain needed momentum. Several naming options are available,” Shisler said. “Donors of $10,000 or more to the Suter West campaign will have the option of being named among friends of President Loren and Pat Swartzendruber for the renovation of S-106. We invite all alumni and friends of EMU to step up and join this campaign.”