Pomona College Magazine
Volume 41. No. 2.
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(Re)Dedicated Voices

The dedication of the Seaver Biology Building was also a rededication of Pomona to leadership in science education.

With more than a dozen members of the Seaver family in attendance, the Richard C. Seaver
Biology Building was officially dedicated on February 26, 2005, as the College offered its
thanks to the family whose name has become synonymous with fields as diverse as science
and theatre on the Pomona campus. Here are some comments from the participants in that
celebration.

Stewart Smith ’68
Chairman of the Board of Trustees
“It is, in fact, impossible to describe the emergence of Pomona College over the last half
century as one of the nation’s preeminent colleges without simultaneously referring to the
transformative contributions of Frank Seaver 1905, Richard Seaver ’43, and the Seaver
Institute.”

David Oxtoby
President of Pomona College
“We celebrate today also a strong commitment from Pomona College for environmental
sustainability in design, construction, and use. This building is the first at Pomona, and
in Claremont, built to the LEED Green Building standards. In fact, it is designed to meet
the still more ambitious goal of silver certification, placing it in the top one percent
of all academic laboratory buildings in the country in terms of energy-conscious design.”

Thomas D. Pollard ’64
Higgins Professor of Molecular Cellular and Developmental Biology, Yale University
“On behalf of two generations of Pomona graduates who studied in Seaver Laboratories, heartfelt thanks to the Seaver family and other donors for providing the facilities not only to learn about the natural world but also to catch the spark that ignited our careers
in science and medicine. ...

“Biology has the potential to explain life in terms of chemistry and physics. We will understand the molecular basis of physiology in the near future. Some matters such as consciousness may have to wait a bit, but even that is not off limits. These insights will explain, for example, how the genetic differences that separate each of us—differences of about one part in 10,000 parts of DNA—account for our individual predispositions to disease. If individuals and society can deal with the ethical and personal issues raised by these insights, it will be possible to take more proactive approaches to preventative medicine, rather than simply reacting to disease as we
do now.

“Research in biology is limited only by resources. Increasing the investment, as Pomona
has done with this magnificent building, will bring answers sooner, rather than later.”

Lenny Seligman
Associate Professor of Biology and Chair of the Biology Department
“This is an incredible teaching facility. This might seem like an odd choice of words for
a building comprised primarily of faculty research labs. However, teaching—arguably the
most important teaching we do—is exactly what occurs in these research labs. “The best research projects at a place like Pomona are those that intimately involve undergraduates in experimental design, execution and interpretation. ... “This building was designed with this idea of collaborative student-faculty research in mind.”

Michelle Keese ’05
Molecular Biology major
“We accept this generous gift from you with gratitude and the promise that we will use it
to achieve great things.”

Richard C. Seaver ’43
Speaking for the Seaver Family
“At this time in history, biology is making such wonderful progress, teaching us so many
things. I can think of no better commentary than that of one of my grandchildren, sitting
here in the second row, Nathan Seaver Dean, who—paraphrasing a political leader of a
generation ago—said, ‘Ask not what biology can do for you. Ask what you can do for
biology.’”
©Copyright 2004
by Pomona College
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