“This tremendous new facility would not be possible without the generosity, vision and commitment to higher education of Mr. Jim D. Morris,” said Columbia College President Gerald T. Brouder.
Jim D. Morris, Springfield, Mo., real estate developer and entrepreneur, donated $813,000 to the college. It is the second largest gift in the institution’s history from a living donor and the largest gift given to a Columbia College Nationwide Campus.
Brouder noted that the all-purpose science lab would be a ‘first’ for its Nationwide Campuses. “This modern, 24-station, fully equipped lab will not only support our current teacher certification program. It allows us to offer our new two-year, Associate in Pre-Engineering degree,” said Brouder. “This entire facility speaks to the seriousness Columbia College holds for its educational mission by creating a superb environment for teaching and learning here in Rolla.”
Dr. Gregory J. Stratman, director, Columbia College-Rolla said he believes the expansion will help build enrollments, reputation and affinity in everyone associated with it.
But it’s more than number-crunching and putting students in classrooms. “Our vision has been to establish Columbia College as a premier adult-education venue,” said Stratman. “This new building is, indeed, just that – a facility that students, faculty and staff alike will be proud to call their campus, their school.”