BVU School of Science receives $2.7 million endowment



Madeleine McCormick | News Co-Editor

Harry and Molly Stine have been beneficiaries for Buena Vista University (BVU) for many years, but recently the Stine’s have donated 2.7 million dollars to the School of Science to use for undergraduate research and promotion of high impact learning strategies.

This donation is a huge benefit to not only the science department, but also to the remaining schools within the university.

Dr. James Hampton, Professor of Biology, introduced himself to Stine 16 years ago and explained how great the students at BVU are. Over the five to six years that followed, Stine agreed to fund a student research project titled “Tissue Culture.”

This paved the way for many more student research projects that the Stine’s generously funded. Within the first year they donated about $2,000 to the university leading to today’s total of roughly $4 million.

In fact, the Estelle Siebens Science Center was funded by Stine and his wife with a donation of $1 million.

“He’s a wonderful man,” Hampton said. “And I think the reason that he does it is because he knows that we have really smart, hardworking students (and) a really well thought out curriculum that emphasizes undergraduate research and high impact learning strategies.”

Hampton knows that having the money is one of the major benefits, but he is surprised to say that another benefit is having the connection with the Stine family. This connection represents the university well and to be able to tell prospective students about the endowment lets them see the strength in our institution.

“To have people as successful and capable as Harry and Molly Stine invest in our students is an incredible load of confidence in our institution,” Hampton said.

As far as the future use of this endowment money, undergraduate research has always been a priority. The students in the School of Science need as much funding as they can to perform their research. In addition to this, however, will be the promotion of high impact learning strategies.

High impact learning strategies call upon students to use their knowledge and research and apply it to real world scenarios. Hampton and his colleagues just finished going over proposals for future undergrad work.

For instance, one of these proposals will give some of the funding to a student to head to Montana State University to work on an Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR) machine. Senior Beth Weber will be testing hemoglobin in blood samples that have been out of body circulation for certain periods of time.

“To put it in laymen’s terms, the goal of the project is to see how long blood has been at the scene of a crime,” Weber said. “I am super excited and grateful to the Steins for providing me the funding to allow for this opportunity.”

Hampton hopes that this will help her find her interests for her graduate work.

Overall the money is going to be used in a multitude of ways to promote BVU’s School of Science, but also to promote the greatness and value of our school as a whole.

“I think this is an interesting partnership between a successful scientist and businessman and a group of BV students that will become the next generation of successful scientists and business people,” Hampton said.

He says that this is their effort of a generational hand off.

“Small investments in our students today will cause big benefits in society tomorrow.”

Graphic by Krystal Schulte