Oklahoma Christian University unveiled its new Vose Hall Chemistry Labs at a ribbon cutting ceremony Friday, Nov. 7 at 2 p.m.
The completely renovated facility in the department of chemistry and physics is comprised of four labs, one each for organic, general and advanced chemistry, as well as an instrument lab.
The new labs include the most up-to-date safety features and are fully handicapped-accessible. New fume hoods remove noxious smoke, while the labs’ air purge systems can replace the air in the labs in minutes, an especially important feature needed during experiments.
The advanced lab has a research area for faculty and undergraduate student research projects. According to chemistry professor Amanda Nichols, this creates more research capabilities throughout the school year and especially during summers.
“The research area will really help us prepare our students for graduate school,” Nichols said. “Plus, we can give our students an improved learning experience through better scheduling of classes.”
Until now, faculty had to schedule one lab at a time in Vose Hall, resulting in some evening classes. The instrument lab is separated from the organic chemistry lab by a wall of glass, allowing faculty and students to use both labs at the same time.
Construction on the new labs began in the spring. Before the building was renovated and expanded, there was only one laboratory for chemistry in Vose Hall.
“Before this facility was renovated, we had chemistry and biology labs spread between two buildings,” said Bill Luttrell, chair of the department of chemistry and physics. “Now students can do all of their biology labs in one place, and all of their chemistry labs in Vose. It really gives us a lot more options when it comes to scheduling different chemistry courses.”
The opening of the new Vose Hall labs marks the completion of the second phase of the renovation of Oklahoma Christian’s science facilities. The first phase was the renovation of the first floor of the Harold Science Hall. The third phase is the renovation and expansion of the second floor of the same building, set to begin next year. The first phase cost $1.05 million, and the second phase cost $1.85 million.
“I’m really impressed that the university invested so much in research capabilities for our students,” Nichols said. “I did undergraduate research here when I was a student and I know these new labs will inspire more students to choose a career in chemistry.”
C. A. Vose first began his relationship with Oklahoma Christian University, then Central Christian College, when the school made the move from Bartlesville to Oklahoma City in 1958. As president of the First National Bank and Trust Co., Vose helped approve a loan that allowed the school to continue construction at a time when capital was extremely scarce. This allowed the first buildings to be completed on the campus and classes to begin as scheduled.
In 1973, President James O. Baird awarded C. A. Vose with the Distinguished Service Medallion, praising him for his longstanding support of the aims and purposes of quality higher education and for his efforts to strengthen the moral fiber of society.
The facilities were open for viewing following the dedication ceremony. Members of the physics and chemistry faculty greeted guests and guided them through the facilities.