Science Building at Ashford University Gets New Name

Renovated structure renamed in honor of former biology instructor


Honoring a former biology instructor, Ashford University has renamed its renovated science structure “The Ladd Science Building.”

A plaque in the building will note that it is named in honor of Sister Francis Clare Ladd, OSF, “Teacher, Encourager, Researcher, Friend of All Creation – 1909-1985.”  Ladd worked at Mount St. Clare College from 1944-57 and from 1961-78 as an instructor and chair of the biology department. She was a co-founder of the Mu Sigma Eta Honor Society, a group that promotes interest in math and the sciences.

The science building was originally constructed in 1965, and the multi-million dollar renovation project began on the first floor at the end of 2011; as soon as the spring 2012 semester ended, renovation of the second and third floors began. The 28,169 square foot project – the first to include major improvements – features eight laboratories, five classrooms and 12 offices. A new student study area was added to the first floor.

Building improvements include new fume hoods, lab benches with vacuum and natural gas fixtures and complete upgrades to the electrical and plumbing systems. The renovated space features central air conditioning and heating systems. Within the classrooms, brighter lighting, new drop ceilings and updated technology were added to enhance the student learning environment. All of the new facilities are handicap accessible.

“The renovation has yielded a much more inviting environment for the students. The classrooms are bright, modern and functional,” said Dr. Glen A. Just, mathematics area coordinator and associate professor. “There is also an added level of security with the scan locks on the classrooms and labs and the addition of security cameras.” He said that the new furniture and technology in the classrooms “make them much more conducive to learning.  The math and science computer lab is a great foundation for presenting software experiences consistent with the situations graduates will see in the workforce.”

Dr. John W. Zimmerman, professor and science area coordinator, echoed Just’s comments. “The science faculty is pleased with the increase to eight laboratories which includes for the first time a laboratory for student research,” he said. “We are grateful for the upgrades in safety items within the laboratory spaces. The largest improvement was in the number of chemical hoods now available for student use. For example, we now have 10 hoods in the organic chemistry laboratory which allows each student their own hood space in which to conduct their laboratory activities. We also added laminar flow hoods used for cell culturing for the first time at Ashford University.”

“The expansion into all three levels also allowed all science faculty teaching in laboratories to have their offices located in the same wing, often on the same floor as their teaching laboratory space,” added Zimmerman.

Regarding the science building’s new name, Zimmerman said, “The faculty were pleased in the naming of the building to reflect our heritage and honor a former science faculty member.”


About Ashford University

Ashford University is defining the modern college experience by combining the heritage of a traditional campus with the flexibility and effectiveness of online learning. The University provides a vibrant learning community where high-quality programs and leading-edge technology create a dynamic, immersive and stimulating learning experience. Ashford University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association ( The University offers practical and progressive associate's, bachelor's and master's degree programs online, as well as bachelor’s degree programs at its Clinton, Iowa, campus. Ashford University – where heritage meets innovation. For more information, please visit or call Shari Rodriguez, associate vice president of Public Relations, at 858.513.9240 x2513.