The Hill was abuzz with activity on November 11, 2022, as students, faculty, staff, trustees, and friends of the College gathered to celebrate the dedication of the Pauley Science Center, a state-of-the-art facility made possible by a transformative $30 million gift in 2019 from Stanley F. Pauley via the Pauley Family Foundation.
Gathering in the two-story atrium of the new building, which is situated at the corner of Via Sacra and College Road, guests were welcomed by M. Peebles Harrison ’89, chairman of the College’s board of trustees, whose brief remarks were followed by a reflection from College President Larry Stimpert. He pointed out that although the facility is new, Pauley is truly a continuation of the legacy of scientific study at Hampden-Sydney, which began when his earliest predecessor, founding president Samuel Stanhope Smith, made philosophical apparatus—or science equipment as we would say today—the College’s first purchase.
Expanding on this sentiment, Patterson Professor of Biology Alex Werth noted that “from its very founding, Hampden-Sydney recognized the centrality of scientific, quantitative, and technical knowledge in producing good men and good citizens…to produce a truly educated and informed electorate, people who, whatever their careers, can speak and vote and teach their children and communities how genes influence health and behavior, how our world and our economies depend on varied energy sources, and how…our survival depends on the production of vaccines to respond not just to today’s pandemics, but tomorrow’s.”
The evening’s keynote speaker was Scott Nickerson ’95, senior vice president of manufacturing for strategic partnerships and enterprise expansion for Moderna. Mr. Nickerson’s remarks offered an inside look at the arduous journey to create and manufacture Moderna’s revolutionary COVID-19 vaccine, a journey which he says he would not have been a part of had it not been for his exceptional experience at Hampden-Sydney.
Following the singing of the College Hymn by the Hampden-Sydney Chorus, members of the Pauley family joined the speakers for a ceremonial ribbon cutting to conclude the dedication ceremony. Mr. Pauley himself passed away in 2020.
The dedication of Pauley Science Center coincided with the celebration of the 247th anniversary of the founding of the College, grounding the anticipation of the future of academic excellence at Hampden-Sydney with reverence for the Hampden-Sydney’s storied past. Students, faculty, staff, and alumni had several opportunities to celebrate at events leading up to the ribbon cutting.