Science center named after former dean

Kelli O'Toole/TheNews

Story by Ashley Traylor, Staff writer

Murray State alumnus, Jesse D. Jones, funded Murray State’s new science resource center in honor of his friend and former dean of the college of science, Gary W. Boggess.

Stephen Cobb, dean of the Jesse D. Jones College of Science, Engineering and Technology, said Boggess started the first science resource center on campus, located on the third floor of Blackburn Science Building.

The new resource center will be on the second floor of the new Engineering and Physics Building, which is currently under construction.

Cobb said the new building is scheduled to be completed in the spring, and classes will meet in the new building starting Fall 2017.

Jennie Rottinghaus, director of development for Jesse D. Jones College of Science, Engineering and Technology, and Cobb both said students can expect new features that will give them a competitive advantage when applying for graduate school and jobs.

“These features will be central to the student-centered experience that Murray State University strives to achieve and that other universities may not be able to offer,” Rottinghaus said.

  The features include individual work areas for students and conference tables for group work. There will be presentation rooms for students to practice project presentations, and the facility will have camera capabilities for video conferencing and live interviews. Tutoring will be available, as well as a graphic designer for assistance in developing portfolios, printing and copying.

“It adds a really personal touch to what we are able to do to provide space, and to provide access to staff and to provide access to the technology, they need to be able to prepare these presentations and to be able to teleconference with other professors anywhere in the world,” Cobb said.

Gary W. Boggess joined the Murray State faculty in 1966 as a chemistry professor, and 12 years later, he was named dean of the college of science, according to an article published by The Murray Ledger and Times. He served the Murray State campus community for 31 years, before retiring in 1997.

In 1993, he received a grant to develop the undergraduate curriculum, and in 1995, he received another grant for the renovation of Blackburn Science Building, according to The Murray Ledger and Times. His proposal, “Development of a Learning Center for the College of Science”, was also funded by the National Science Foundation.

  “He was a really strong leader in helping us develop our science and engineering programs to what they are right now,” Cobb said.

Neil Weber, former Murray State professor, had previously worked under Boggess. He said Boggess hired him at Murray State, and he sees Boggess as a friend.

“Dean Boggess was and still is deeply committed to the highest level of science education,” Weber said.

Rottinghaus also had praises about the former dean.

“Dr. Boggess is one of the most beloved retired professors and administrators in the history of Murray State,” Rottinghaus said. “He was a champion for students, faculty and staff during his tenure and continues to be even now that he is retired.”