UP FRONT: New beginnings

Posted on Jun 1, 2015 :: Up Front
Sean P. Johnson
Posted by , Insight on Business Staff Writer
The renovated Gehl-Mulva Science Center on the campus of St. Norbert College will host its first class of students for Wisconsin Medical College in July. The $40 million project has transformed the former science building into a state-of-the-art facility that will be the medical college’s primary home. Photo courtesy of St. Norbert College.

The renovated Gehl-Mulva Science Center on the campus of St. Norbert College will host its first class of students for Wisconsin Medical College in July. The $40 million project has transformed the former science building into a state-of-the-art facility that will be the medical college’s primary home. Photo courtesy of St. Norbert College.

“This arrangement will be unique in many, many ways. We are not aware of another college of our size or type that will have a medical college campus at its location,” says Thomas Kunkel, president of St. Norbert College. “We also think, frankly, that the future of higher education in general is about more and more collaborative opportunities. This is a great example.”

The state-of-the-art facility was dedicated in May at a ceremony attended by donors Carol H. and Paul O. Gehl and Miriam B. and James J. Mulva, for whom the science center is named.

Medical students studying at the new Medical College campus will be following an immersive teaching model in which students receive basic core science and clinical experience in the community where they study. Research shows that 70 percent of medical students who complete both their medical education and medical residency in the same region decide to stay there to practice medicine.

The WHA study projected the upcoming physician shortage would be most acute in rural areas, with primary care physicians, general surgeons and psychiatrists in short supply.

To support the medical college, as well as St. Norbert’s science degrees, the Gehl-Mulva houses the physics, math, psychology, geology, biology and chemistry disciplines. There are 45 teaching/research labs, 10 classrooms, one large lecture hall, 15 student study lounges and offices for 38 faculty. The laboratories feature state-of-the-art equipment, and the classrooms are equipped with the latest technology.

A museum adjacent to the atrium honors the work of biologist and botanist the Rev. Anselm Keefe, a graduate of the class of 1916. Keefe planted nearly 700 trees, some not indigenous to Wisconsin, and developed the landscape plan experienced on the campus today.