Wallace McCain Learning Commons reflects commitment to excellence in higher education

HALIFAX, Nov. 8, 2011 /CNW/ - Dalhousie University students will have a new common area, for everything from studying to actively considering new issues and different perspectives thanks to an $8-million gift from Margaret and the late Wallace McCain to Bold Ambitions: The Campaign for Dalhousie. The "Wallace McCain Learning Commons" will be an addition to the existing Life Sciences Centre at Dalhousie. The gift reflects the McCain family's firm belief in excellence in higher education. 

"We believe in helping undergraduate students reach their full potential," says Margaret McCain. "This country's future depends on building the best talent possible. Dalhousie's vision for the next generation of graduates with a new world outlook will go a long way in that direction. We hope this gift contributes to their goal."

The Wallace McCain Learning Commons will provide a modern learning environment for students by offering large open workstation areas, study rooms, and offices for departmental advisors, student societies, and science co-op programs - something that Dalhousie's Life Sciences Centre has been without since its construction in 1971.

The vision for the new building includes integrating new technologies in the architectural design, along with other design features that are environmentally friendly but also serve as teaching tools, such as a "living wall," "aquaria," a "rock wall" and a "green roof."

"This gift will be transformative for the learning experience of many students," says Chris Moore, Dean of Dalhousie's Faculty of Science. "It will be a showcase of inviting, bright, environmentally sensitive architecture, fashioned specifically for our students."

"The McCain family gift is a wonderful example of philanthropy that inspires," adds Dalhousie President Tom Traves. "It will enable our students to learn from each other which is a valuable part of a university education. We are grateful to Mrs. McCain and the late Mr. McCain for their generosity and the opportunity they have provided."

Construction on the facility will begin April 2012, with completion expected in Sept 2013.
With this gift, and those from many other proud Dal supporters, $195 of the $250 million goal has been raised for the Bold Ambitions Campaign.

SOURCE Dalhousie University

For further information:

Charles Crosby, APR, Senior Advisor, Media, 902.494.1269, charles.crosby@dal.ca

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