Building for the Berkshires
MCLA students traveled to the State House last spring to advocate for funding for a Center for Science and Innovation. With them are (far left) Denise Richardello, vice president for enrollment and external relations, State Rep. Daniel E. Bosley (center) and MCLA President Mary K. Grant (third from right, front row).
With the support of local legislators, faculty, staff, students, members of the Board of Trustees, area business leaders and many more, the smallest public college in Massachusetts became a big voice to ensure that MCLA has a Center for Science and Innovation in its future.
"My students deserve the very best. Our faculty deserves it. The community needs it," President Mary K. Grant said.
Funding for Center for Science and Innovation was realized only after a monumental effort on the part of President Grant. Shortly after her arrival at the College in 2002, she embarked on a mission to make sure that MCLA students and Berkshire County play a dynamic role in supporting the Commonwealth's status as a world leader in biotechnology and the life sciences.
To accomplish this, MCLA requires a cutting-edge facility in which to train future scientists, as it facilitates Massachusetts in maintaining its edge with a robust pipeline of scientific talent from the Berkshires.
A steady advocate for strong educational support across the region, President Grant logged thousands of miles on the road as she made frequent trips to Boston, keeping up a constant pace to make MCLA's case. She did her job so well, in fact, that it wasn't long before whenever she walked into a room with legislators, they began to approach her about the College's need for the Center.
Finally, in August, President Grant's hard work, persistence and dedication to make a Center for Science and Innovation at MCLA a reality was realized when Governor Deval Patrick authorized $54.5 million for the project in the Higher Education Bond Bill.
Once completed, the facility will represent the single largest investment in public higher education in Berkshire County of all time.
According to Governor Patrick, "When we invest in public higher education, we invest in the promise inherent in our students - in their individual futures and in our collective future. The Center for Science and Innovation at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts will be a state-of-the-art facility that will provide the valuable training and preparation our students need to thrive in a 21st century global economy."