dewittnwcollege Northwestern College
The Jack and Mary DeWitt Family Science Center is under construction at Northwestern College

$6 million gift helps Iowa college pay for new science building

The $24.5 million Jack and Mary DeWitt Family Science Center is set to open this summer at Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa.

Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa, has received the largest single gift in its history, a $6 million donation that will help pay for a new $24.5 million facility for health and natural sciences that is under construction.

The college says the 61,000-square-foot Jack and Mary DeWitt Family Science Center is scheduled to open in August.

The DeWitts of Holland, Mich., contributed the lead gift for the building.

The center will house classrooms, laboratories and faculty offices for the departments of biology, chemistry and nursing.

The building has been designed to illuminate the departments’ science-on-display philosophy. Ample windows—both to the outdoors and into classrooms and laboratories—will enable students and professors to see teaching and learning, exploration and discovery, nurturing and nursing in practice.

The additional space will enable Northwestern College to relocate its nursing department from peripheral and off-campus labs and offices into the heart of campus and close to the biology and chemistry departments.

It also will increase the number, size and flexible functionality of biology, chemistry and nursing labs with stations where long-running experiments can be staged. Garden plots, a greenhouse and vivarium will expand the resources of the natural science program.

The facility’s construction costs have been covered through fundraising efforts. Just a little more than $2.6 million remains to be raised for an endowment that will pay for the building’s maintenance, scholarships for science students and research fellowships.

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