Lake Forest College celebrates grand opening of Lillard Science Center

Chronicle Media

The $43 million Lillard Science Center, a 130,000-square-foot teaching and research facility, is a modern hub for interdisciplinary and collaborative student-faculty research — a hallmark of Lake Forest College.

Lake Forest College will celebrate the grand opening of its new $43 million science building, the Lillard Science Center, with a ceremony and reception beginning at 5 p.m. on Oct. 12. The 130,000-square-foot teaching and research facility is a modern hub for interdisciplinary and collaborative student-faculty research — a hallmark of Lake Forest College.

Over the past two years, a dramatic addition was built and existing science buildings were renovated to create the state-of-the-art facility that brings together biochemistry and molecular biology, biology, chemistry, environmental studies, neuroscience, physics, and psychology.

Highlights of the Lillard Science Center include:

  • An open environment with new labs that feature large glass windows and multiple small-group work areas throughout the building that make it even easier for faculty and students to collaborate on research, which is highly valued at Lake Forest College.
  • Instrumentation and professional-grade equipment that is typically only found at the graduate-school level. Using this equipment, Lake Forest College faculty and students conduct research on many critical issues, including Parkinson’s disease, tuberculosis, human memory, cellular aging, slowing the speed of light, animal behavior and addiction, human genes, granular dynamics, acoustic levitation, quantum optics, the environment, and more.
  • An outdoor wetland teaching lab—The McClure Rain Garden—that features three varying-depth ponds planted with more than 100 native species. This micro-environment offers new research possibilities for both students and faculty.
  • A rooftop garden that offers a new opportunity to grow native plants for classroom use and to conduct in-depth research on species development in an artificial environment.
  • A 1,700-square-foot greenhouse that, once complete, will create a controlled environment for research, classroom demonstration and lab use as well as landscape restoration on campus and to start seedlings for the College’s organic student garden.

“Our new Lillard Science Center is an interdisciplinary hub, because we recognize that’s the future of science,” said President Stephen Schutt.

Located on Middle Campus, the expanded science center prominently features the names of two families long associated with Lake Forest College: John and Paula Lillard and Wesley M. Dixon Jr. and Suzanne S. Dixon.

For more information on the Lillard Science Center, go to

Lake Forest College is a national liberal arts institution located 30 miles north of downtown Chicago. The College has 1,550 students representing nearly every state and 80 countries. For more information, visit