Created By: St. Joseph's College
Dr. Carol Hayes talks about the Biology and Chemistry laboratories in Tuohy Hall [Voices of SJC Fall 2017]
Dr. Hayes: Then, near and dear to my heart, was the rebuilding of the laboratories in the Biology department [and] the Chemistry departments when Sister Elizabeth [Hill] became President in the late 90s. Having been here teaching for a long time, we had very old laboratories. That didn’t mean that a lot of things didn’t go on in the laboratories, it did, but they were old and dated. The impetus for that was—and I don’t know if you know this— there was a group that wanted to come into the College and film some stuff for television or whatever—I don’t remember what it was. Sister Elizabeth, who was then President, took them on a tour. Of course, she brought them to the Biology department; we’re kind of separate down there. They remarked to her that the laboratories were so nice—they were so quaint. Sister Elizabeth hinged right on that word quaint and she called myself and Sister Mary Maier. Sister Maier was the Chairperson of the Chemistry Department. I was the chairperson of Biology. She called us to her office and she was so incensed at that word quaint, that she said, “We can’t have quaint Science laboratories [laughing].”
That began, what she called, “The renovation of the laboratories,” but it wasn’t just a renovation—it was really a rebuilding. Our whole department was gutted—right down to the beams. Everything was rebuilt: got new microscopes; got everything brand new. This was a big thing for our department and for Chemistry also—because Chemistry majors take Biology classes; Biology people take Chemistry classes. The Chemistry labs were done over at the same time. They were all computerized—everything—we came into the modern era.
This point of interest is part of the tour: Voices of SJC Audio Walking Tour