Mary Baldwin Opens College of Health Sciences

June 18, 2014

OT, PT Students Start Class in State-of-the-Art Facility

Just two and a half years after announcing that it would pursue graduate programs in health sciences, Mary Baldwin University on June 16 welcomed its charter class of occupational and physical therapy students to the Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences at a brand-new satellite campus in Fishersville.[C]WP_MurDem_TEMP_03-W

All 70 students started the day having breakfast with Mary Baldwin President Pamela Fox and other Mary Baldwin administrators inside the building’s spacious atrium. Throughout the daylong orientation, students also heard from Vice President for Health Sciences Linda Seestedt-Stanford, met with faculty and staff, and learned the basic information they’ll need as classes begin. The day ended with tours and a reception at the main Mary Baldwin campus in Staunton.

Fox talked with students about the history of the college, its degree pathways and special programs, and the lasting legacy of the institution — devotion to each student, across all programs. “You can help us forge the next chapter for Mary Baldwin University,” she said.

“We always pride ourselves on maintaining the cutting edge of what our programs, our students, and our society needs,” Fox said. “You coming here to begin your classes this week is just one very important manifestation — yet again — over the 172-year history of the institution.”

On June 17, students began class in the human anatomy lab, where they’ll spend much of their summer study learning critical, fundamental information about the human body.

The state-of-the-art lab is just one component of the 55,000-square-foot health sciences facility that will prepare student for successful careers. Classrooms are outfitted with large screens to help enrich faculty and student interaction. A simulation suite offers important insight into real-world patient care. A life skills laboratory will help students visualize the needs of future clients in their homes. There are plenty of collaborative learning spaces throughout the three-story building as well, lending to an interprofessional focus among the disciplines, which, in 2015, will include physician assistant studies and a degree-completion program for nurses.

The opening of Murphy Deming is the result of several years of studying and planning and by the hard work of Trustees, administrators, faculty, and staff. The construction of the building — located at the heart of the Augusta County medical corridor — was accomplished in just two years by the construction firm Kjellstrom + Lee. The project was made possible by a $15 million gift from Bertie Murphy Deming Smith ’46.