As part of the Homecoming weekend festivities, Harding University's new Center for Health Sciences will be dedicated on Friday, Oct. 24. The dedication of the 37,200 square foot building will take place at 3:30 p.m. on Park Avenue.
President David Burks and Harry Risinger, chairman of the Board of Trustees, will dedicate the building. Joining them and making remarks will be Dr. Julie Hixson-Wallace, dean of the College of Pharmacy, and Dr. Mike Murphy, medical director of the Physician Assistant program.
Janice McKean, a pharmacy student from Searcy, will also speak along with Sarah Spear, a physician assistant student from Little Rock.
Construction of the $7.65 million building began in July 2007 and was finished within a year. Steelman Connell Moseley Architects of Little Rock, Ark., designed the two-story building, and it was contracted by James H. Cone Inc., also of Little Rock.
The ground floor houses an administrative suite, the COP-PA Kettle Café, a student lounge, laboratory and examination rooms. Faculty offices, classrooms and a specialized library are on the second floor. The entire facility uses the best educational technology available. Monitors, cameras and digital recording devices connect the classrooms to one another and enable teacher and peer evaluation.
The Center for Health Sciences is the most environmentally friendly building on campus. It was designed with motion-detector lighting and thermostats that can be moved only two or three degrees at a time.
The first class of 16 physician assistant students graduated in July 2007. In 2008, 23 more students completed the Master of Science degree. The program is the first in Arkansas and the first among schools affiliated with the Church of Christ.
The College of Pharmacy received pre-candidate accreditation status in January 2008 and accepted 61 students into its inaugural class this fall. Students are working toward a Doctor of Pharmacy degree.
Students, faculty and the general public are welcome to attend the dedication. The section of Park Avenue from Burks Blvd. to Remington Rd. will be closed from 3 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. to accommodate the ceremony. For more information, call (501) 279-4316.