HUNTINGTON, Ind. In a special ceremony to recognize Dr. G. Blair Dowden and Chris Dowden, the Dowden Science Hall was dedicated today, April 24, in their honor.
Huntington's 12th President G. Blair Dowden and First Lady Chris Dowden led Huntington University for 22 years before retiring in May 2013.
Last April, the Board of Trustees honored the Dowdens by announcing that the Science Hall, which was built under their leadership, would be named in their honor. Today, the name was unveiled on the building.
"Thank you Dr. and Mrs. Dowden for your service and your vision to help make this dream an ongoing reality for our students," President Sherilyn Emberton said at the dedication ceremony. "For this today, we honor you."
Under Dr. Dowden's leadership, the 91,000 square-foot Science Hall opened in 2002. The state-of-the-art facility is home to the university's programs in nursing, mathematics, computer science, chemistry, biology, pre-med and environmental science. The Dowden Science Hall also houses the largest major on campus with 90 nursing students.
"This is an incredible and humbling honor for the two of us," Dr. Dowden said. "We never started our careers in Christian higher education some 39 years ago thinking that someday a building would be named after us. We are truly humbled and blessed."
The Dowdens shared this honor today with the many board members, administrators, staff and faculty, namely Dr. Jerry Smith, who chaired the planning committee for the Science Hall, who made this building a reality.
"It has been a privilege to serve alongside these gifted individuals for 22 years," Dr. Dowden said.
The Dowdens began their service to the university in 1991. During this time, the enrollment doubled and many new academic programs were developed, including nursing, exercise science and digital media arts.