NEW WILMINGTON, PA (WC)– Faculty, staff, students and distinguished guests gathered Saturday, April 13, in Westminster College’s Hoyt Science Center for the dedication of a new teaching and learning space for faculty and students, the Fred and Carol (Dietz) ’59 Sullivan Lecture Hall.
Named for Fred Sullivan and his late wife, Carol Dietz Sullivan ’59, the 112-seat lecture hall addition is part of an ongoing $20 million renovation taking place in the Hoyt Science Center and features state-of-the-art technology, comfortable seating and a contemporary style. Each seat is equipped with power ports and the room features a sound system with microphone capabilities, as well as laser quality dual screen projection with a confidence monitor so presenters can view displayed content. The hall is accessible from the first floor of Hoyt and provides a seamless integration between the lecture hall, the planetarium and an engagement space.
“The Dietz Sullivan Lecture Hall is a beautiful space that will greatly enhance accessibility and facilitate modern teaching and learning,” said Dr. Jeffrey S. Coker, dean of the college and vice president for academic affairs.
The new facility was made possible by a $1 million gift from Sullivan to honor his wife of 54 years. Mrs. Sullivan, who passed away in 2013, graduated from Westminster in 1959 with a degree in biology. After marrying in 1959, the couple resided in various cities throughout the Midwest.
Sullivan, who now resides in Lone Tree, Colo., attended the dedication ceremony with his children, grandchildren and other friends and family from all over the country. Sullivan, who spent more than 40 years with the Dow Chemical Company, spoke of the couple’s lean years early in their marriage and the importance of giving back to the college that meant so much to his wife.
“I always worried about Western Pennsylvania and the economy, and I felt like I owed something to the people here, and owed something to the students here to allow them to get an education,” said Sullivan, who also established the Carol Dietz Sullivan Biology Research Scholarship which provides funding opportunities for biology students to travel abroad and study in the field.
Matt P. Stinson, vice president for institutional advancement at Westminster, expressed his gratitude for Sullivan and his family.
“If you think about it, this gift was over 60 years in the making,” said Stinson. “We are grateful not only for the gift, but for the philanthropic seeds planted with our students. They know someone cares about them and is investing in their educational experiences. Sixty years from now, it is very likely that students using the new facility today will be making a significant gift of their own for students in 2080.”
Pictured above: Westminster College President Dr. Kathy Brittain Richardson, far right, poses with Fred Sullivan, center, and his children, from left, Jennifer Wright, Mark Sullivan and Ginny Van Blaricom. Also pictured, a view of the lecture hall.