Hope College will celebrate its new science center with a day of dedication that will feature a variety of activities.

Built around the theme "Learning Through Research," the events will take place on Friday, Oct. 8, in conjunction with the college's Homecoming Weekend. The day will feature a series of addresses by invited speakers, a dedication ceremony and an open house.

The public is invited. Admission is free.

The presentations will begin with a keynote address by Dr. Judith Ramaley, who is assistant director in the Education and Human Resources Directorate of the National Science Foundation. She will present "Science and Citizenship: The Importance of Public Understanding of Science" at 9 a.m. in Dimnent Memorial Chapel.

Two sets of parallel presentations by Hope alumni will take place at 10:15 a.m. and 11:15 a.m., at a variety of locations in the science center.

Presenters at 10:15 a.m. will include Dr. Sylvia Ceyer, a 1974 graduate from Cambridge, Mass., who is a professor of chemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Dr. Tim Laman, a 1983 Hope graduate from Cambridge who is a research associate of the Arnold Arboretum at Harvard University and a wildlife photographer whose work has been featured in "National Geographic"; and Dr. Paul Schaap, a 1967 graduate from Grosse Pointe Park who is president of Lumigen Inc.

The presenters at 11:15 a.m. will include Dr. Jim Serum, a 1965 Hope graduate from West Chester, Pa., who is president of SciTek Ventures; and Dr. Robert Motzer, a 1977 Hope graduate from Ridgewood, N.J., who is an attending physician with the Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and a professor of medicine at Cornell University, both in New York City.

In addition, Hope alumni who are physicians will participate in a panel discussion at 11:15 a.m.

A dedication ceremony will take place at 12:30 p.m. at Van Andel Plaza, which lies north of the building's main entrance. The scheduled participants include Dr. James Bultman, president of Hope; U.S. Representative Pete Hoekstra or his designee; Ramaley; William Gustafson, president of Ballinger & Associates, architects for the project; Dr. James Gentile, who is dean for the natural sciences at Hope; Dr. Leah Chase-Waller, who is an assistant professor of biology and chemistry at Hope; and Jennifer Yamaoka, a senior biology major at Hope from Zeeland. The Rev. Paul Boersma, who is the Leonard and Marjorie Maas Endowed Senior Chaplain at Hope, will offer a dedication prayer.

An open house will begin at 1:15 p.m., following the dedication, and will feature refreshments throughout the center.

In addition to the activities scheduled for the new building, a dedication ceremony has been scheduled on Thursday, Oct. 7, for the college's new Pelletron particle accelerator and attached microprobe facility. The ceremony will take place at 5 p.m. on the lower level of VanderWerf Hall, with Dr. Graham Peaslee, who is an associate professor of chemistry and geology/environmental science, presiding. The instrument, funded through a grant from the National Science Foundation, was installed this summer.

A dinner in conjunction with the science center dedication activities has been scheduled for the college's Board of Trustees on Thursday, Oct. 7. Invited speakers will include Margaret Riecker, president of the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation, which made a leadership gift in support of the science center project.

The $36 million science center project, part of the college's "Legacies: A Vision of Hope" comprehensive campaign, includes both the construction of a new, 85,900 square foot building and the renovation of the existing, 72,800 square foot Peale Science Center, which had opened in 1973.Construction began in March of 2002. The new building opened for the beginning of the 2003-04 school year, and the renovated Peale re-opened in August of this year.

The building houses the departments of biology, chemistry, the geological and environmental sciences, nursing and psychology. It was designed to complement the college's on-going emphasis on collaborative student-faculty research as a teaching model, and organized to facilitate connections between departments.

Hope has been recognized multiple times nationally for its emphasis on research-based learning. Most recently, the 2005 edition of the "America's Best Colleges" guide published by "U.S. News and World Report" included Hope in its listing of colleges and universities that are outstanding in their emphasis on undergraduate research or creative projects. Although the schools on the list have been unranked for the past two years, Hope was tied for fourth in the U.S. when the category debuted in 2002.