Wold Center open for business


By Andrew Churchill

John S. Wold ‘38, his wife Jane, and President Stephen Ainlay cut the ribbon to welcome the Union community to the new Peter Irving Wold Center. The Center is a gift donated by the Wold family in honor of John’s father, Peter, who was chair of Union’s physics department from 1919 to 1945.

With three former Union presidents and two congressmen in attendance, the campus community gathered at Hull Plaza at 1 p.m. on Saturday for the formal dedication of the new Peter Irving Wold Center.

The ceremony, which lasted roughly an hour, complemented a dinner held the night before in College Park Hall, which thanked not only the Wold family but all other donors, as well as those members of the faculty and staff who were instrumental in the building’s creation and construction.

The dedication was immediately followed by an open house, where members of the campus community had an opportunity to explore the many facilities present in the new world-class academic hall.

Also in attendance at the dedication were current Union president Stephen Ainlay; members of the Board of Trustees, including its outgoing chairman, Frank Messa ’73, and Senior Vice President and Director of Research at IBM John Kelly ‘76; and members of the Wold Building Steering Committee.

In his address, Messa expressed gratitude to those who made this gift to the college possible. Foremost among them were the Wold family, who he called “one of the most historic families in Union’s history.” Many members of the Wold family, including John ‘38 and Jane Wold, the project’s leading donors, were present on what Ainlay called “an historic day for the college.”

Additionally, Kelly announced IBM’s gift to the college of a $1 million computer cluster rarely found outside of major scientific research centers, which will propel Union’s computing capabilities far above peer institutions.

Similarly, in his keynote address, Mr. Wold expressed his desire for the new building to send Union “to the top” of higher education in the United States.

Students highlighted the interdisciplinary nature of the new academic building. “From humanities and the arts, to the sciences and engineering, everyone benefits from extending their understanding to an interdisciplinary forum. I commend Union and the Wold family for realizing the importance of this and devoting a physical space on campus to interdisciplinary studies,” said Lauren Brown ‘11.

In her address, Erin Delman ‘12 commented, “Mr. and Mrs. Wold, you have done much more than donate a building to generate innovative thinking. You have provided a facility that will both inspire and prepare the next generation of leaders to leave Union’s gates and tackle the pressing global problems of our time.”

The dedication of the Wold Center was the capstone to a well-attended ReUnion weekend.


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