A History of Science Education at the University of Scranton

A Rich History of Science Education

The history of science education at Scranton through the 1960s was inextricably linked to preparation of students for careers in medicine. Beyond this core, however, lies a story of rich collaboration between students and faculty.

Loyola Hall of Science: Past is Prologue
For more than a decade, the University dreamed of consolidating science-related departments scattered in different buildings into a state-of-the-art building that would provide a home for popular, reputation-building programs that were among its best. The dream was about to be realized through a new facility described in news reports as "..one of the finest of its kind in the world."

The year was 1956 and the eagerly anticipated building was the Loyola Hall of Science. The building would accommodate biology, chemistry, physics and engineering, and the radio station formerly "...spread out in inadequate quarters contained in five different buildings...." It would also house offices for the dean of the college. The $1.1 million facility was the first and largest in a $5 million effort that would develop 10 campus buildings.

The building remained largely unchanged until 1987 when it underwent substantial but not complete renovation through support from the Second Cornerstone Campaign.

Today, only biology and chemistry are in Loyola Hall and yet space is scarce, confining, and of generally low quality. The classrooms facilitate traditional lectures rather than interactive learning. The floor plans promote solitary rather than group exploration, and disconnected facilities isolate program faculty and students rather than encouraging interdisciplinary interactions.


With serious limitations in configuration and siting, Loyola Hall is now ironically the impediment to a long-held dream for science education at Scranton, a dream of unified center to accommodate science programs that drive the University's academic reputation and departments that serve every undergraduate student.