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Buildings History

Science and Math Building

The Science and Math Building is the center for the sciences on Meredith’s campus. Classrooms and labs include space for study in biology, chemistry, and physics. The signature atrium lobby at the center is often used for campus events. A breezeway is available for outside classes and demonstrations.

"Along with the tangible brick, mortar and glass, this building is also symbolic. It represents the expression of Meredith's belief in and commitment to women's presence in science, math and technology. It physically negates the stereotype and perceptions still present in our society that women do not belong in, are not prepared for, or are not interested in science and math." - Maureen Hartfort, President of Meredith College (1999-2011)


Prior to 2003, science courses at Meredith college were taught in Hunter (now Martin) Hall. Then, through the initiative of new president Maureen Hartford, ground was broken in April 2001 for a modern building that indicated Meredith College’s commitment to investing in the education of women in the fields of math and science.

On January 8, 2003, the Science and Mathematics Building (SMB) opened for classes. The two wings were named in honor of Lucy Wyatt Bovender (Class of 1941) and J.W. Bovender and for board member and chemist Dr. J. Rufus Hunter.  Since then, the strengths of the science programs have continued to develop through the STEM program (Science Technology Engineering Math), the Dual Engineering program with North Carolina State University, and the Public Health program.

During her tenure at Meredith (1999-2011), Dr. Hartford would introduce three other science-related initiatives: Undergraduate Research Opportunities, Meredith Technology, and Service Learning and Leadership.


President Hartford

Dr. Maureen Hartford, President from 1999-2011

Level 1 Floor plan of the Science and Math Building

Level 1 Floor Plan

The new building was designed by BJLAS Architecture, LLC and constructed by Rodgers Builders. 

Level 2 floor plan of  the Science and Math Building

Level 2 Floor Plan

The new building was designed to house the biology and health science, chemistry and physical science, and mathematics and computer science departments along with specialized laboratories for each discipline. 

Science and Math Building Under Construction

Science and Math Building while under construction in 2002

Ground was broken for the new facility in April 2001.

Atrium of Science and Math Building Under Construction

Atrium Under Construction

In late February 2002, the builders and the Meredith community gathered for a traditional "topping out" ceremony. Participants were able to add their signature to the topmost beam before it was swung into place by a crane. 

Lucile Wyatt Senior Picture

Lucile (Lucy) Wyatt Bovender (Class of 1941)

Dr. J. Rufus Hunter

Dr, Hunter was a trustee of Meredith College from 1923 to 1951, serving as the President from 1929 to 1941. His will left his entire estate to Meredith College, at the time, the largest individual gift. Martin Hall was previously named in his honor. Prior to moving to Raleigh to work with his brother, Dr, Hunter was a professor of chemistry at Richmond College (now University of Richmond.)

The SMB at twilight at the time of it's dedication

The SMB at twilight at the time of it's dedication

The SMB was dedicated on March 28, 2003. Just prior to the ceremony, noted marine biologist Sylvia Earl spoke in a keynote address about the importance of science and its application in the wider world. 

With the completion of the 80,000 square foot facility containing expanded labs and equipment, built-in audio-visual equipment and brighter, open rooms,  Meredith College now had scientific tools comparable to her peer institutions - and could boast of the modern equipment  plus the advantage of the personal attention of smaller class sizes,  In addition, a grant from the Kresge Foundation's Science Initiative program was used to establish an endowment to maintain the new equipment and replace it when necessary.

SMB 2015


The SMB, 2015