With the fall semester now underway at the College we’re not only welcoming the 98 students of our new OD class into our community, we’re also celebrating the return of two fully revamped and thoroughly modernized classrooms. The major modifications to 101 (now known as Feder Hall) and 103 that were completed over the summer not only enabled us to accommodate our larger class size but also created a more modern, comfortable and tech-savvy space for learning as well. The remodeled “smart” classrooms, which can also be combined into one large lecture hall, are now equipped with fully automated, multimedia technologies that represent a stark improvement over what existed before.
As part of our current strategic plan, the College is fully committed to developing and improving our physical infrastructure in ways that will wholly support and enhance the educational, research and patient care needs of the twenty-first century. In 2013 we inaugurated our Center for Student Life and Learning which, in addition to quickly becoming the lifeblood of student activity on our campus, has also provided our students with a truly innovative space in which to learn and develop, including a cutting-edge new pre-clinical laboratory.
Providing students with the tools that they need in order to prepare them for success in the future is one of the most fundamental obligations of any higher education institution. Technology and infrastructure play key roles in that preparation effort—something felt even more acutely for us given the ever-evolving technological demands of health care. But in addition to these newly improved spaces for our students, we’ve also made major improvements elsewhere on campus in the past year or so, including major renovations to our basic, translational and clinical research facilities.
Of course, we’re not done by a long shot, and we’ll continue to make fiscally responsible improvements throughout our institution going forward. From the development of a unique clinical care unit in the University Eye Center that will be used to test new technologies and alternative approaches to care, to a graceful new lobby that will involve a collaboration with Purchase College’s Neuberger Museum of Art, there is much work still to be done.
It’s important for us to remember that these improvements aren’t simply a matter of aesthetics, they’re instrumental and important steps toward strengthening and securing our position as a health care leader for generations to come.
David A. Heath, OD, EdM