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Wofford gets $100,000 grant for organic chemistry lab


2010-06-01

Spartanburg Regional Foundation funds to be used as challenge grant for construction, renovation project
SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Half of Wofford College’s incoming students plan to be biology majors, pre-medical students or pre-dental students, all of which require organic chemistry. Enrollment in organic chemistry has nearly doubled since 2004, and summer school enrollments in the course have increased so much that two sections are offered each summer now.

Meeting the needs of these students, providing them with the best learning environment possible, has led the college to embark on plans to construct a new organic chemistry laboratory that will provide the appropriate equipment and space that also may be used by Wofford’s partner institution, the new, nearby Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM) as it opens in 2011.

Wofford recently was awarded a $100,000 grant over the next three years by the Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System Foundation for the construction and renovation project for the lab, located in the Roger Milliken Science Center. The funding will be used as a challenge grant to raise additional money for the project. The foundation recently awarded more than $400,000 in grants to 27 nonprofits, including many focused on health.

The $1 million project will create a state-of-the-art 1,800-square-foot organic chemistry lab with the space and equipment that will allow for a greater range and variety of experimentation options for students.

“Bringing the organic chemistry lab on line will add to the lab space within the chemistry department and make it possible for us to instruct 24 students each lab period in a single room, with high visibility and an adjoining instrumentation room,” Dr. Charles G. Bass, the Dr. and Mrs. Larry Hearn McCalla Professor of Chemistry, says. “We also hope to have an advanced organic chemistry lab that will make student-faculty research possible. We can envision courses such as pharmaceutical chemistry coming on line and hope to have collaborative research and coursework with the new VCOM medical school.

“Exceptional students such as we have here at Wofford deserve nothing but the best,” Bass adds.

Dr. Benjamin B. Dunlap, Wofford’s president, says, “We are enormously grateful to the Spartanburg Regional Foundation for their generosity and their vision. Together with VCOM and our other institutions of higher learning, our purpose is to join forces to make this city a premiere center for medical education and practice.”

Dr. David Pittman, a psychology professor at Wofford, also received a grant from the Spartanburg Regional Foundation to expand his “healthy choices” school lunch program to all 40 Spartanburg County elementary schools.

“Because of the support of the community and many donors of the hospital’s foundation, the foundation is going to support some very worthwhile projects in the community in a time that’s financially challenging for all of us,” Bill Burton, chair of the grants and allocation committee for the SRHS Foundation, says of the grants provided to Wofford and other entities.

The Spartanburg Regional Foundation is a charitable corporation whose primary mission is to benefit the Spartanburg Regional Healthcare system through direct support of Spartanburg Regional and also through its support of community programs and services that share the Spartanburg Regional mission of providing quality health care to our community.