In May 2015, we were proud to join Virginia Wesleyan College in revealing the design of the new Greer Environmental Sciences Center. The building – which honors President Greer and his long-standing commitment to environmental sustainability and advocacy for the sciences – was presented at the president's retirement celebration on Tuesday May 20, 2015. The nearly 40,000 sf building, which is on track to open August 2017, will complete the College’s main quadrangle and serve as the cornerstone of the College’s growing environmental sciences programs.
The Center was gifted to the outgoing President Greer at the end of a presentation which included a donor- and alumni-funded $175,000 scholarship, also named in honor of the president. Jane Batten, a member of the Virginia Wesleyan Board of Trustees and friend of Billy and Fann Greer, spoke about President Greer’s commitment to the environment and how that passion led to recruiting excellent faculty for the natural science department, whose enrollment has grown by over 100% in the last few years alone. She introduced the anonymous gift by stating: “The Greer Environmental Sciences Center will help you realize your vision, Billy, of completing the quad.”
Only a few members of the 250+ audience had advance knowledge of the project. When the building was announced, an audible, collective gasp echoed throughout the room, followed by a standing ovation and cheers and tears of joy. President Greer was visibly overcome by the honor. As the announcement was made, this fly-through video of the project began to play. The movie was played a second time, as the applause in response to the video overwhelmed the voice-over during the first showing! Finally, the physical model of the building was unveiled, so President Greer and attendees could view the future space close-up.
The Board of Trustees congratulated the design team and the faculty members who had offered feedback over the past five months, as President Greer examined the model and pumped an exuberant “Yes” with his fist. She ended her announcement by stating that the project was moving forward the following morning with a site survey. Congratulations to the project team and everyone at Virginia Wesleyan College.More information and illustrations about the project can be viewed in this video about the Greer Environmental Sciences Center.