The days of trekking across the tundra to Baldwin, DeMotte, or Heimlich Hall ended with the opening of Neils Science Center in 1967. Of course, then students were often relegated to windowless laboratories in the basement. Now the Center for the Sciences: Chemistry and Biochemistry features bright artwork and expansive windows with an open view of the campus core, visually connecting the sciences with the Center for the Arts, the Chapel of the Resurrection, and the Harre Union.
We asked alumni and students through Valparaiso University’s social media to share their fondest memories of STEM education and facilities at Valpo, and here you will find a collection of responses.
“As a chemistry major, I have worked directly with several instruments and practiced techniques that many undergraduates at other universities don’t get the opportunity to do. Our access to these resources is even more beneficial due to our extremely dedicated professors, who engage in their own research projects and encourage their students to become their research assistants, keeping the emphasis on education.”
Mara Paterson ’19
“I made lifelong friends while putting in hours upon hours and struggling through the challenging coursework. I am so thankful to the professors who were beyond supportive and truly cared about us learning and comprehending the material.”
Megan Cullinan ’17
“When I first saw the program at Valpo, I saw a large amount of people from all walks of life heavily invested in not just their individual projects, but also in improving the world as a whole. Minimum expectations are not just met, but passionately exceeded, and students are proud of it.”
Matthew Teeters ’20
“I came to Valpo to study engineering because not only did they have a great reputation, but I saw firsthand that the quality equipment and facilities surpassed all other universities I visited.”
Matthew Penning ’18
“One reason I came to Valpo for STEM is because the program is not as large as it is at other schools, and I get really good one-on-one time with professors. Having this relationship is really great because they actually care about not only our education, but us as individual people.”
Megan Fitzgerald ’18
“Biology lab in the basement of Baldwin. Professors paused lectures until the train passed, and they could be heard again.”
Bev Ruecker ’66 Wick
“In the spring of 1983, our sorority Kappa Tau Zeta (KTZ) used the outside steps of Neils for blocking and rehearsing our songs for Songfest, in preparation for performing a medley from Godspell on the steps of the Chapel of the Resurrection. It was the first and only time our sorority won Songfest.” Sheila Valle ’83 Vaclavik
“Wow, impressive! I feel like an old guy now who will be telling future generations what it was like in Neils.” Andrew Mutka ’07
“In 1965, I was in Professor Bloom’s 7:30 a.m. general biology lecture. Sitting in alphabetical order, I met my future spouse!”
Sharon Mahnke ’68
Connect with Valpo’s various social media channels to join the conversation.