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Dalhousie University celebrates opening of Wallace McCain Learning Commons
New student-centered space honours legacy of leading philanthropist
(Halifax, NS) - Today Richard Florizone, President of Dalhousie University; Dr. Margaret McCain; Kelly Regan, Minister of Labour and Advanced Education; and Dan Nicholson, Dalhousie Student Union President; joined members of the Dalhousie community to celebrate the official opening of the Wallace McCain Learning Commons (WMLC). The Wallace McCain Learning Commons was made possible through a generous $8 million dollar gift from the late Dr. Wallace McCain and Dr. Margaret McCain. The WMLC is a fresh, student-centric space that promotes academic collaboration, group and private studying, and access to computers and information resources.
“We thank the McCain family for their continued exceptional support of Dalhousie University,” says Richard Florizone, President of Dalhousie University. “This new Learning Commons will help honour the legacy of Wallace McCain, one of our country’s leaders and philanthropists. It has been so exciting to see this beautiful addition to the Dalhousie campus develop into what is now a dynamic, student-centered space open to the entire Dalhousie community. This new space will truly enhance the Dal student experience.”
The McCains, who received honourary degrees from Dalhousie in 2007, have a long legacy of philanthropy in education.
“Wallace and I always firmly believed that in order for undergraduate students to have the best university experience, learning must take place both formally in the classroom, but, just as importantly, it must be enriched outside it,” says Margaret McCain. “This new facility will not only facilitate, but will encourage, coming together to share ideas, challenge conventional thinking and develop important life-long relationships. I am so proud to see what this gift has done for Dalhousie students.”
Situated on Dalhousie’s Studley Campus, this addition to the Life Sciences Centre features collaborative workspaces, study rooms, and meeting spaces that can be used by students for group study work, to consult with Science program advisors, or to seek other student services like studying and writing assistance. A Dalhousie Libraries’ student Navigator will answer directional questions, provide referrals for Dal Libraries services, and deliver on-site IT assistance. The Learning Commons will also house the Science Academic Resource Centre, a peer-to-peer academic support service for science students. The building is a LEED Gold candidate, featuring partial green roof, skylights, LED lighting throughout, and an ultra-efficient system for heating and cooling known as Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF).
“While the new Common space is attached to the Life Sciences Centre, it is meant for all students and even our immediate neighbours,” says President Florizone. “With such a prominent presence at the foot of Lord Dalhousie Drive, we hope that the community sees the Wallace McCain Learning Commons as a front door to Dalhousie.”
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