University Dedicates Brown Science Hall On Feb. 8

Feb. 16, 2018 | Joliet, Ill.

Sr. Dolores Zemont, OSF, president of the Sisters of St. Francis, and Art Scheuber, chair of the USF Board of Trustees, cut a gold ribbon at the dedication.

The University of St. Francis (USF) welcomed a crowd of more than 200 people on the evening of Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018 for the dedication of the LaVerne & Dorothy Brown Science Hall.

Despite the snowy forecast, the Brown Science Hall was filled with donors, trustees, friends, faculty, students, elected officials, community members and alumni, all eager to tour the new three-story facility. University President Arvid C. Johnson, Ph.D. welcomed the crowd gathered in the Banks-Bellah Lecture Hall and noted the momentous occasion the evening presented.

“Today’s opening of the LaVerne and Dorothy Brown Science Hall builds on the momentum of a university that is expanding and opens a new chapter on our main campus,” remarked Johnson. “Our new labs and learning environment will help the University of St. Francis further its mission of preparing students to contribute to the world through service and leadership, driven by a continuous pursuit of knowledge, wisdom, faith and justice.”

The crowd was also addressed by Board of Trustees President Art Scheuber, Will County CEO Larry Walsh Sr., Sisters of St. Francis of Mary Immaculate President Sr. Dolores Zemont, OSF, USF Provost Frank Pascoe and biology Professor Dr. Bill Bromer. The space was also blessed by the Diocese of Joliet Bishop Most Rev. Daniel R. Conlon. Comments from the student perspective were made by current biology student, Megan Price ’18, and alumna Julie Torres-Manner ’06 who both spoke to the university’s demanding but rewarding science curriculum and how it has prepared them to succeed in their future endeavors.

The crowd was especially delighted to hear a few comments from Dorothy “Dottie” Brown, on behalf of the building’s namesake and lead donor for the project.

“LaVerne would have been so proud to be a part of this project,” she commented. “I know he is here with us today.”

After the dedication ceremony was complete, the audience was treated to the official ribbon cutting and reveal of the beautiful glass donor wall, situated just inside the front doors of the building. Additional major donors to the project include Patricia (Sexton ’67) and Robert Wheeler and Trish (Banks ’83) and Bill ’82 Bellah.

“The donor wall is a jewel within this space,” says Vice President for University Advancement Kristin Short. “We hope all of the current and future donors to the sciences at USF are proud to have their names on this stunning installation.”

Ground was broken for the LaVerne and Dorothy Brown Science Hall in April of 2016. Well before then the three story, 35,000 square foot space had been a dream of the USF science faculty. When the dream became a reality, the faculty began working together to draw up their ideal learning environment.

“No detail was overlooked by this group of professors,” laughed biology Professor Dr. Bill Bromer. “We contemplated the perfect height for tables, outlet locations and storage; all in order to maximize the student learning experience.”

“Each floor not only houses state-of-the-art laboratory space and equipment but also includes large research areas for students and faculty members to share – thereby creating exciting interdisciplinary learning opportunities. Our science, education, and nursing students will be well-served with this magnificent, state-of-the-art, sustainable facility,” commented Johnson.

For more information about the Brown Science Hall and giving opportunities, please visit

Founded in 1920, the University of St. Francis, in Joliet, Ill., is a Catholic, Franciscan university that serves 4,100 students nationwide; offering bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs in the arts and sciences, business, education, nursing and social work. There are more than 48,000 USF alumni across the globe.

University of St. Francis: Bigger thinking. Brighter purpose.