Grand Opening of $2.5 Million Chemistry and Biology Lab Renovation

October 17, 2019
Tulsa Community College celebrated the grand opening of a $2.5 million renovation of three Biology and Chemistry labs at the Metro Campus. The Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation provided a $1 million gift and the Morningcrest Healthcare Foundation provided a $300,000 gift specifically for the project through the $20 million Clearing the Pathway: The Campaign for Completion.

“These new labs, in partnership with our generous donors, are designed to provoke thought and enhance understanding, which is a critical piece for career achievement,” said TCC President & CEO Leigh B. Goodson, Ph.D. “TCC is committed to building student success through education, whether they go directly from an associate degree to the workforce or transfer to a four-year university. We are grateful for the community’s support and investment in our students.”

Students are already benefitting from state-of-the-art learning laboratories and expanded space for experiments. Behind the scenes, the remodeled, ultra-modern labs allow for equipment storage areas, larger lab prep rooms with added safety features for faculty and students working with chemicals, an instrument room for students to conduct research, and a specific room for chemical storage.

The new Biology lab also features a six-foot living plant wall that nourishes an appreciation for life and nature and provides air cleaned by the plants. An interactive periodic table is displayed at the entrance to the Chemistry labs that showcases chemical elements, real examples of where they are found and used, and computer graphics and tutorials to guide the student to greater learning and understanding.

“These labs serve a large number of students in general education courses across every career path and degree major,” said TCC Board of Regents Chair Sam Combs. “By providing an innovative learning environment and expanded opportunities for undergraduate research, our students are developing important critical thinking skills.”

As the demand for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) graduates grows, hands-on experience is critical to prepare and engage students toward careers in this important sector. Currently, one in three TCC students graduate with a degree or a certificate designed to immediately step into the workforce.

“The lab project was just one piece of the highly successfully Clearing the Pathway: The Campaign for Completion. With the help of our donors and a generous community, we are removing barriers to student success and producing more college graduates for the workforce,” said Kari Shults, TCC Interim Vice President for Advancement and President of the TCC Foundation.

The Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation is a lead donor to the Campaign for Completion. Other major donors include A.R. and Marylouise Tandy Foundation; George Kaiser Family Foundation; Hardesty Family Foundation; Herman G. Kaiser Foundation; Ruth K. Nelson; The Anne & Henry Zarrow Foundation; and The Oxley Foundation.

Helmerich Trust is an Engineer level sponsor. The Mary K. Chapman Foundation, Maxine & Jack Zarrow Foundation, Morningcrest Healthcare Foundation, and Sanford & Irene Burnstein Foundation are Designers. Planners include an anonymous donor, Robin Ballenger, Coretz Family Foundation, John Steele Zink Foundation, Diane & Frank Murphy, ONEGas Foundation, ONEOK Foundation, and Williams. The Barnett Family Foundation, Marge & John Gaberino, Kathy Taylor, and Joseph Parker are Advocates.

Guides are Jim & Susannah Adelson, Tom & Julie Adelson, Tom & Joan Atkinson, AT&T, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma, Randy Bunn, Richard Bunn, Jim & Janet Cameron, Sam & Rita Combs, the Lyons Family, Cox Communications, Sharon King Davis, Phil & Jana Frohlich, Leigh & Mark Goodson, M. Ted & Shiela Haynes, Ron & Myra Jeffris, Caron & Shawn Lawhorn, Dr. Peter & Meredith Madden, Bill & Pat McKamey, Darcey & Joseph Moran, Nadel and Gussman, Pierce & Debbie Norton, Paul & Patricia Samuels, Bill & Susan Thomas, Bob & Jill Thomas, Maureen & T. Lane Wilson, Kenneth & Wanda Wolfkill, and Bronya & Chad Zamarin.