Board approves science building name

Board approves science building name

The Grand Valley State University board of trustees met on April 24, when it named the new science building in Allendale the P. Douglas Kindschi Hall of Science.

Formerly a dean, Kindschi has been a faculty member at GVSU for more than 30 years. He is currently a professor in the mathematics and philosophy departments, and he serves as the director of the Kaufman Interfaith Institute, where he is interested in the dialogue between science and religion.

Kindschi said he has mixed feelings about having a building bear his name.

“It’s an honor, but a little bit embarrassing,” Kindschi said. “I do things because I think it’s the right thing to do, not for any recognition. But, I am very pleased. It’s an opportunity to give back to the community.”

In addition to his work in math, Kindschi has also been involved in the sciences at GVSU. He and his wife Barbara have established an endowment for research and education. Kindschi said they are providing the “funds to enhance the work of science at Grand Valley. It’s connected to the building, but indirectly.”

“It’s been a wonderful part of my career to be part of Grand Valley and to have had a significant part in the development of science at the university,” Kindschi said. “It’s always a good time to be part of Grand Valley.”

Through the years, enrollment in the sciences has grown at GVSU. When Kindschi was dean, he was involved in the building of Padnos Hall of Science, located across from the new science building. Today, the new space on the other side of the street will “allow us to be prepared for future growth in the sciences,” Kindschi said.

GVSU President Thomas Haas said Kindschi came to talk with him about how he could use his resources to aid the increasing number of students interested in science. Haas said Kindschi has been an essential professor and leader at the university who has worked in health-related programs as well as science and math. The naming of the science building is a way to recognize Kindschi for his contributions to those fields, Haas said.

“I am so proud of Dean Kindschi and his wife on putting these investments forward for future generations of Lakers,” Haas said. “He is an individual who has given his life to Grand Valley. He, too, is a Laker for a lifetime.”

Haas added that the professor and the building will “impact generations of students ahead.”

The P. Douglas Kindschi Hall of Science will open for students in August, and will be up and running for the 2015-2016 academic year. It includes nine classrooms, 15 teaching laboratories, 14 faculty and student research laboratories, study spaces, offices and a greenhouse.