UST Breaks Ground on New Center for Science and Health Professions

The University of St. Thomas, a member of the world-renowned Texas Medical Center, broke ground on a new Center for Science and Health Professions on Nov. 12, 2015. The new facility, containing more than 100,000 square-feet of modern lab space and classrooms, will meet the increasing demand for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) degree programs in Houston. Groundbreaking Ceremony for new Center for Science and Health Professions Dr. Bert Edmundson, chair of the UST Board of Directors, announced Mayor Annise Parker’s City Proclamation naming the date Nov. 12, 2015 as “University of St. Thomas Science and Health Professions Day.” Several hundred friends and members of the St. Thomas community gathered to participate in the ceremony on the UST campus, a milestone in the University’s legacy. New Center Will Benefit STEM and Nursing Students Dr. Robert Ivany, president of the University, spoke on celebrating the success of the new Center and how it will benefit not just current students but those in the generations to come as well. “We did it not just for the future of our campus and our students, but for the future of our city, state, nation and world,” Ivany said. “We may be a small campus, but we dream big and our students leave here and do big things.” Students share their dreams in Groundbreaking Ceremony for new Center for Science and Health Professions During the groundbreaking ceremony, 10 students—from across STEM disciplines and nursing—shared their hopes and dreams. “As a future physician-scientist, I would one day love to treat or cure patients with genetic disorders,” said Luke Hebert, senior bioinformatics major. “With more lab space and equipment in UST’s new building, more undergraduates like me can do research at St. Thomas to make an impact.” Michele Malloy, former chair of the Board of Directors, placed the students’ written hopes and dreams into the soil that will lay the building’s foundation. At the University of St. Thomas, nearly half the entering freshman class has an interest in a STEM-related field. The Center for Science and Health Professions will help fulfill the educational goals of future doctors, nurses, physicists, biologists, chemists and researchers. A Community of Supporters Made New Center Possible David Harvey, CEO and chairman of D.E. Harvey Builders who served as the chairman for the Faith in Our Future Campaign, highlighted the generous contributions of donors who have made this Center a reality, sentiments that were echoed by Ivany. “Words cannot adequately express my gratitude to the many benefactors who responded with an outpouring of support,” said UST President Dr. Robert Ivany. Groundbreaking attendees included Texas First Lady Cecilia Abbott ’87, M.Ed ’93, MATS ’94; Carol and Odis Peavy, supporters and namesakes of the University’s recently reopened nursing school; Harry Mach; Marie Bosarge; Joe Cleary; Pete Seale Jr.; Pam and Bruce Earthman; and Lois and Carl Davis. Fr. George Smith, CSB, Superior General of the Congregation of St. Basil, blessed the site while recounting the journey the Basilian Fathers undertook when they first started the University. “When the Basilian Fathers founded the University in 1947, the campus consisted of just one building—Link-Lee Mansion,” Smith said. “In the more than six decades that have followed, UST had grown leaps and bounds, but has always maintained its beauty, intimacy and unique presence in the heart of Houston.” The $47.3 million learning environment, housing the Carol and Odis Peavy School of Nursing and the Biology and Chemistry departments, is scheduled to be completed in Summer 2017.  In future phases, the Center will also serve students studying mathematics, bioinformatics, physics, cooperative engineering and environmental science.