July 9, 2007 Harding breaks ground on $7.7 million health sciences center
SEARCY – Harding University officials ceremoniously broke ground on the new $7.7 million center for health sciences Monday. The center, scheduled for completion by fall 2008, will house the Physician Assistant Program and College of Pharmacy.
The $7.7 million, two-story facility will provide 35,800 square feet of space for administrative and faculty offices, conference rooms, laboratories, examination rooms, classrooms, and a student library.
The first class of the PA Program, which began June 2005, will graduate July 28, receiving the master of science in physician assistant studies. More than half of the 16 graduates are planning to practice in Arkansas once they complete the national certification examination. Fifty-six additional students are currently enrolled. The College of Pharmacy — leading to the Pharm.D. — opened in fall 2008. Both programs were developed in response to national health care trends.
“This is a very important building, and we’re so excited about what is yet to come,” said President David B. Burks. “These two programs join an already strong premedical program and nursing program. This adds to what we’re doing strategically in the field of health sciences. It is a significant step in that direction.” “Buildings are more than bricks and mortar,” said Dr. Julie Hixson-Wallace, dean of the College of Pharmacy. “They are a reflection of the people they serve. The facility for which we are breaking ground today will be a monument to what Harding University stands for. It will be a monument to pharmacy practice and pharmaceutical research that may well result in the amelioration of suffering and disease.” Dr. Mike Murphy, director of the Physician Assistant Program, said, “We have dreamed of training clinicians in an atmosphere that fosters development of faith as well as excellence in clinical knowledge and skills. These dozens of students here in their white coats represent just the beginning of that effort. Within the next few years they will impact the lives of hundreds of thousands of patients for whom they will provide care.”
The College of Pharmacy and the Physician Assistant Program moved into the completed Center for Health Sciences on July 14, 2008.