The Dedication of Regents Hall of Natural and Mathematical Sciences
A Celebration of the Future of the Sciences at St. Olaf
October 3-4, 2008
In many ways, the dedication of St. Olaf College's new science complex is a yearlong celebration. The faculty of the college has selected "Science and the Liberal Arts" as the theme for the 2008-2009 academic year. Guest speakers, special events, exhibitions, and performances will presented on this theme during the entire course of the academic year.
Dedication Weekend, timed to coincide with the college's annual Homecoming and Family Weekend, offers a wide array of activities celebrating the sciences at St. Olaf and the official opening of Regents Hall.
Among the highlights of the events leading up to and culminating in Dedication Weekend are
- The Phi Beta Kappa lecture on Thursday, September 25 during community time by noted science historian and evolutionary biologist Betty Smocovitis, who will be speaking on advancements in evolution theory since Darwin. That evening at 7:30 p.m., Dr. Smocovitis will present a more light-hearted look at the relationship between science and American popular culture, in a talk titled "'Singing His Praises': Darwin and His Theory in Song and Musical Production." A Charles Darwin birthday party will follow.
- A guest lecture by physicist, novelist, and essayist Alan Lightman, author of Einstein's Dreams, on Monday, September 29 that will help kick off the week's activities. (CANCELED)
- "Science, Art, and the Imagination," a science themed art exhibition on display at the Flaten Art Musuem from September 12 to October 26.
- The theater production, The Aerodynamics of Accident. A comedy by playwright Deborah Stein set in 1897, about an ambitious young girl who crashes to her death in an experimental flying machine and returns to haunt the house of a reclusive widow and upstart professor. Directed by Associate Professor of Theatre Karen Peterson Wilson, the play runs from October 1 to October 5.
- The Plenary Dedication Address by University of Maryland, Baltimore County President Freeman A. Hrabowski, III. A nationally recognized advocate for improvements in science and math education, with a special emphasis on minority participation and performance, Dr. Hrabowski graduated at 19 from Hampton Institute with highest honors in mathematics. At the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, he received his M.A. (mathematics) and four years later his Ph.D. (higher education administration/statistics) at age 24.
- The traveling exhibit the "NASA Vision for Space Exploration Experience" will be open to the public in the Mellby parking lot on October 2, 3, and 4. The Exploration Experience begins with a simulated visit to the moon where explorers will build a lunar outpost and touch an actual moon rock. Visitors will also explore a virtual model of the moon, interacting with the lunar surface to learn about NASA’s research and future plans for exploration. The second section of the exhibit features a hexagonal, interactive theater that introduces visitors to NASA’s plan of returning to the moon in new vehicles currently being developed to create a working environment that will help ensure safer, more effective future exploration into the solar system.
Thanks to the many individuals, corporations and foundations who helped make Regents Hall a reality through their generous contributions.