Science for the 21st Century

The power of a bridge.

Science has been a key component in the education of a Vassar student since the days of our very first faculty member. It was Maria Mitchell who famously asked her students, “Did you learn that from a book or did you observe it yourself?” Her question, and our belief in the power of undergraduate scientific inquiry that underlies it, is as relevant as ever.

Today’s most exciting scientific studies are taking place at the intersections of traditional disciplines. Genomics, robotics, biogeochemistry and cognitive science are all products of a multidisciplinary model that Vassar pioneered. But our facilities, scattered across the campus, do not reflect or support the unprecedented interdisciplinary nature of scientific study in the 21st century.

That’s why Vassar asked Ennead Architects (formerly known as The Polshek Partnership) to design a new Integrated Science Center. Their bold design links a new building bridging the Fonteyn Kill with a revitalized Olmsted Hall, and features renovations of Sanders Physics and New England buildings. The Integrated Science Center will serve literally as a bridge, physically uniting Vassar by connecting points at the south edge of the campus with the main campus. This new complex also will serve as a metaphoric bridge between Vassar’s long and distinguished history in the sciences and our future.