Science Building Moving from Theory to Reality

Speakers at Groundbreaking Ceremony Describe Perks Included in Plans

Oct. 29, 2008

Students, faculty, staff and Richardson city leaders turned out on a cool fall morning Tuesday to celebrate the groundbreaking of UT Dallas’ newest construction project, the $29 million Math, Science and Engineering Teaching-Learning Center (MSET).

Dr. David E. Daniel
UT Dallas President David E. Daniel said MSET and other construction plans signal a new era of accomplishment for the University.

Jessie Harpham
Jessie Harpham, a senior biology major, called the new building a recruitment tool for students like her.

Cupcakes at the groundbreaking
Einstein’s famous equation fittingly topped cupcakes at the event.

Onlookers packed a tent just north of Berkner Hall, where MSET will stand, to hear how the new building will further strengthen UT Dallas’ already robust math and science undergraduate programs.

Expected for completion in 2010, the MSET project garnered praise from the morning’s master of ceremonies, UT Dallas student Jessie Harpham, a senior biology major.

“When I look at a building like this, I see a plan centered on providing students with a quality education and a strong foundation of knowledge,” Harpham said. “This groundbreaking presents a continued reminder of the strong commitment by this school to give undergraduates the very best educational experience. Without a doubt, this state-of-the-art space will be a recruitment tool for students like me in the future.”

Harpham was accompanied on stage by:

    •President David E. Daniel.
    •UT System Student Regent Ben Dower.
    •Richardson Mayor Steve Mitchell.
    •Natural Sciences and Mathematics Dean
     Myron Salamon.

Dr. Daniel said the new MSET building represents part of a coordinated plan to expand science facilities between the Natural Science and Engineering Research Laboratory (NSERL) and the Engineering and Computer Science Building.

“Our goals for growth are aggressive,” Daniel said. “The projects already under way, the project we begin today, and the projects to come in the near future are markers that point the way along a path toward great accomplishment and unparalleled success for UT Dallas.”

Dower brought greetings from the UT System Board of Regents and said MSET would be a “launching pad from which individuals spring forward into lives of accomplishment.”

Richardson Mayor Steve Mitchell, who was on hand in April when the campus broke ground for the new residence hall, shared memories of watching the campus and community grow together for 40 years.

“I remember Campbell as a two-lane asphalt street,” Mitchell said. “Look at it now.”

Harpham concluded the ceremony with an upbeat, “Who’s ready to turn some dirt?” and called the crowd forward to take turns breaking ground for the innovative new building.

“I’m happy to host this groundbreaking today,” she said. “I only wish I could take classes in MSET. But I know that I’ll be back after I graduate, and hopefully I can see this beautiful building open. And maybe I’ll enjoy a lecture one more time, for old time’s sake.”


Media Contacts: Brandon V. Webb, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, brandon.webb@utdallas.edu
or the Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, newscenter@utdallas.edu

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MSET groundbreaking
Helping kick off construction were members of the team that helped plan the new building (from left): Dr. Scott Rippel, senior biology lecturer; Dr. Cynthia Ledbetter, professor of science-math education; Dr. David E. Daniel, president of UT Dallas; Dr. John Ferguson, associate professor of geoscience; Dr. Joseph Izen, professor of physics; and Dr. Myron Salamon, dean of the School of Natural Sciences & Mathematics.

Speakers included (from left) UT System Student Regent Ben Dower and Dean Myron Salamon of the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics.

Students attending the groundbreaking ceremony heard how the new building’s design would enhance learning in mathematics and science.

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