Alden Challenge Grant Supports Science Division

The George I. Alden Trust of Worcester, Mass., has authorized a challenge grant of $100,000 to launch the Mercyhurst Analytical and Conservation Center (MACC), a fund-raising priority for the college’s science division.

The three-to-one match compels Mercyhurst to raise $300,000 by June 2004. Then, paired with the Alden Trust’s $100,000, the resulting $400,000 would be used to purchase start-up equipment and materials for the MACC. 

“This is a history-making challenge that has been placed before us by the George I. Alden Trust, which we think will be a tremendous opportunity for our science students,” said Gary L. Bukowski, vice president of institutional advancement. “It has taken over six months to attain this challenge; now we have eight months to bring it to fruition. We are hopeful that we can muster the support from trustees, faculty, staff, administration, alumni, parents, friends and foundations.”

The MACC would build on current capabilities in the sciences and also provide the venue for creating new teaching and research initiatives. The center would focus on three major areas: analysis and conservation of organic and inorganic materials; molecular and cellular investigation of organic residues and DNA; and geographic information systems and remote sensing. Total cost of equipment for the three components is estimated at $1,156,085.

The science division has made great strides in recent years: archaeology is recognized nationally as a leader in its field; anthropology debuted a popular new program in applied forensic sciences in 2002; a proposed master’s program in biological and forensic anthropology is awaiting state approval; the division boasts a unique computational science minor; and the sciences are enjoying considerable success in preparing students for medical and graduate schools. 

Creation of the MACC will enhance these advances and guarantee that Mercyhurst science students are exposed to the latest generation of scientific instrumentation. What’s more, it will provide a synergistic vehicle for collaboration among the science departments, a division in which 29 percent of 680 incoming freshmen for 2003-2004 chose their majors, bringing the total number of students in the sciences to 421.

The Alden Trust supports institutions that demonstrate a combination of educational excellence, exciting programming, and efficient and effective administration. The trust supports proposals that its board of trustees believe will contribute significantly to the intellectual growth of students and will enhance an institution’s mission. 

To learn more about the Alden Science Challenge

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