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Naming gifts spur construction of new science center
Last month’s announcement of significant gifts that will help fund a new science facility means building preparations can begin this month. The official groundbreaking will take place May 10.
The new $39.2 million facility will replace John R. Minahan Science Hall, which is almost 50 years old. It will allow St. Norbert faculty and undergraduates to work on the leading edge of science and mathematics.
The 150,000-square-foot Gehl-Mulva Science Center is to be named for donors Paul O. and Carol H. Gehl, and James J. and Miriam B. Mulva ’69.
“We want to thank Paul and Carol Gehl and Jim and Miriam Mulva for their incredible generosity,” said President Tom Kunkel. “The Gehl-Mulva Science Center will truly transform St. Norbert College, and it’s because of their support that it’s happening now.”
The science center will feature 36 laboratories for research and teaching; small-group workrooms and informal collaborative spaces; wind turbines, a solar voltaic panel and other green technologies; a greenhouse; a science gallery; and displays honoring the scientific contributions of Norbertines, including noted biologist the Rev. Anselm Keefe, O.Praem., ’16.
Construction of the center, which will also house the Medical College of Wisconsin’s new Green Bay-area campus, will be undertaken in phases with completion scheduled for spring 2015.
The naming donors
Paul and Carol Gehl have been long-time supporters of St. Norbert College and its students.
Paul, former president and co-founder of Lunda Construction, is a trustee of the college and chair of the college’s building committee. He is an investor with Hilbert Communications and Chairman of Othmar Group, LLC. Paul is a veteran of the United States Air Force and served during the Korean War.
Carol, like her husband, grew up in the Hilbert, Wis., area, and they have been strong supporters of their hometown region. Over the years, the Gehls have helped support many area students who sought a St. Norbert College degree. They also support local schools and have been benefactors to the Diocese of Green Bay.
Miriam and James Mulva provided the lead gift toward construction of the St. Norbert College library, which opened in 2009 and bears their names.
Miriam, born Miriam Brozyna, grew up close to the college’s campus, attended St. Joseph Academy in Green Bay and graduated from St. Norbert in 1969. She is an active volunteer and a member of the college’s board of trustees.
James Mulva is also a De Pere native whose mother, Phyllis Mulva Martine, worked for several years at St. Norbert College as a member of its library staff. James earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in finance from the University of Texas at Austin. A former naval officer, he recently retired as chairman and CEO of ConocoPhillips. James serves on the boards of General Electric, General Motors, Green Bay Packaging and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.
The Gehl-Mulva Science Center project continues a pattern of new construction and new academic experiences at St. Norbert College.
Since 2009, St. Norbert has built a new library and residence hall, opened Don Schneider Stadium, renovated the Ariens Family Welcome Center and Todd Wehr Hall, created Michels Commons, transformed the former St. Boniface Church into Dudley Birder Hall, and is currently completing the Cassandra Voss Center for women’s and men’s initiatives.
This marks approximately $100 million in donor-supported construction in less than five years and contributes to the major endeavors of Campaign St. Norbert: Full Ahead.