Students at North Dakota State College of Science in Wahpeton will benefit from a $250,000 endowment intended to support and enhance science education at the campus.
The William F. Rothwell Center for Science was dedicated Thursday, Sept. 6 on the second floor of Haverty Hall. NDSCS Alumni/Foundation Executive Director Kim Nelson shared some background about Rothwell to the gathered guests and students.
A Breckenridge, Minnesota, native, Rothwell’s love of education was instilled in him by his mother, who was an instructor at NDSCS from 1965-1974.
“Bill and his wife, Janet, have both been dedicated to education throughout their careers,” Nelson said. “It has been a pleasure to get to know Bill and to work with him as he supports the community where he grew up.”
Prior to this endowment, he established the William F. Rothwell Endowment in 2015 to support students in business administration and management.
“His most recent gift demonstrates how donors can make an impact that matches their interests with the educational needs at NDSCS,” Nelson said.
Mathematics and Science Chair Shannon King shared how some of the funds will be used for upgrades in the department.
The college has been able to expand and update its chemistry lab with new computers and software to operate instruments and equipment for hands-on learning. A new anatomy curriculum will move forward with new equipment that allows interactive use, such as table-top human anatomy figures on which students use colored clay to build muscle systems and organ systems.
“These upgrades allow our students to work with modern instruments that they will see and work with in their future careers,” King said. “We are excited to know that we will be able to continue to provide modern equipment for our students’ education as new technology is available in the future.”
Second-year liberal arts student Joseph Langenwalter, Wahpeton, also spoke during the dedication about what the endowment means for he and his classmates. Langenwalter plans to transfer to the University of North Dakota with a major in physics and a minor in astrophysics.
“The experience I’ve gotten from this has helped me greatly, both in my college career and in my internship at the chemistry lab at Cargill,” he said, “which has better help me analyze and interpret all types of scientific data. I’m very glad that now future students will be able to get the same experiences and opportunities that I’ve received. I’d like to thank Mr. Rothwell on behalf of all students, current and future, who benefit from the math and science programs here at NDSCS.”
NDSCS President Dr. John Richman thanked Rothwell, who was unable to attend the ceremony, for his gift on behalf of the faculty, the staff and students. The dedication was live-streamed and will be archived.
“Your gracious gift does allow us to continue the great effort that we do in educating and training the workforce for North Dakota,” Richman said. “The same passion you had in your instructors, the same passion I had in mine when I went to school here, I can proudly tell you that same passion, that same ability, capability, Bill, is here today teaching these students, and will be in the future.”
Classes using the new science equipment are part of the curriculum for students taking liberal arts courses or studying for science or pre-professional health careers, in addition to students in the college’s allied health and agriculture programs.