(Villanova, PA) - The Academy of Notre Dame de Namur, Villanova, celebrated the opening of its new 30,000 square foot Riley Center for STEM Education with a dedication, blessing, and ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday, April 12. The state-of-the-art facility incorporates the latest technology and teaching/learning environments for study of the STEM disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
Notre Dame's President, Dr. Judith A. Dwyer welcomed guests, students, faculty and staff from the Center's entrance plaza. "The Academy of Notre Dame de Namur has been celebrating milestones since 1856. We proudly stand in the legacy of Saint Julie as well as the hallmarks of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur and their pioneering leadership within the Catholic faith community. The Riley Center continues that legacy as we recognize the ability of the STEM disciplines to heal and enhance the quality of life throughout the world."
The Riley Center for STEM Education forms the cornerstone of Notre Dame's five-year strategic vision to create a state-of-the-art, 21st century learning environment on the Academy's 19th century Villanova estate.
The Center includes technology enabled active learning (TEAL) environments that include eight science laboratories, three lab prep rooms, eight mathematics classrooms, a design thinking and entrepreneurship classroom and labs dedicated to design and innovation, robotics and coding.
George Van Kula, Chair of Notre Dame's Board of Trustees, offered his gratitude to school administrators, faculty, members of the Academy's STEM Strategic Council, leaders of the Academy's capital campaign, trustees, and donors, "The commitment that each of you have demonstrated is truly inspirational and will leave a lasting mark on the Academy of Notre Dame and the women who pass through its halls."
Barbara Phelan Riley is a 1990 graduate of Notre Dame, and her three daughters currently attend the Academy. "Brian and I feel very fortunate to be able to give back to a Notre Dame community that has given so much to us. We are excited to know that our daughters, their classmates, and future generations of students will benefit from the Riley Center for STEM Education."
Following a blessing by Father Robert Hagan, O.S.A., campaign leaders and student and faculty representatives joined President Dwyer and Board Chair Van Kula to officially open the building with a ribbon cutting. Following the ceremony, guests had the opportunity to tour the building with student ambassadors.