David and Susan Gring. Courtesy of Roanoke College.

Roanoke College has announced that Dr. David and Susan Gring, the college’s ninth president and first lady who served from 1989 to 2004, have committed to making a gift approximating $3.5 million to support a student research endowment and the College’s planned Science Center. 

To date, the college has raised $50 million toward the $70 million goal for the construction of the new Science Center. 

Plans for the center include state-of-the-art teaching and learning spaces, and a complete renovation of the Life Sciences and Trexler buildings. The plaza of the Science Center will be named the Dr. David M. and Susan D. Gring Plaza, according to a release from the school.

Every student at Roanoke takes at least three courses from the programs that will be housed in the Science Center. One-third of all courses on campus will be taught in the Science Center. Most of the student research will take place there, and it will house three of Roanoke’s 10 most popular majors: psychology, biology and environmental studies, according to a release from Roanoke College.  

Gring was a college biology and genetics professor and administrator prior to his role leading Roanoke College.   

“I’m a scientist,” Gring said in a statement. “All of my degrees are in biology and genetics, so there’s a warm spot in my heart for the place of science in a premier liberal arts college where students and faculty are engaged in the excitement of co-inquiry. Susan’s career was spent in health care, which is integrated completely with the sciences.” 

“The science building is something I confess I wanted to have happen during the time we were there, but it was not to be,” Gring said. “President Maxey and Terri have brought a renewed enthusiasm for this project, and we are delighted to be able to contribute. It will be a transformational life-changing facility when complete.” 

For more information about the Science Center, visit roanoke.edu/sciencecenter.