New Murray State University facility to be named Dr. Gary W. Boggess Science Resource Center16 Dec 2016
MURRAY, Ky. — Murray State University has announced the naming of the Dr. Gary W. Boggess Science Resource Center. In recognition of Boggess’ countless contributions and loyal dedication to the University, his lifelong friend and fellow alumnus Dr. Jesse D. Jones made a generous donation in his honor to the MSU Foundation.
“Dr. Gary Boggess is a respected scholar and administrator who retired in 1998 after serving as dean of the Murray State College of Science for 20 years. Dean Boggess was, and remains, a champion of science education who consistently emphasized the importance of providing support and opportunities for our students to succeed in their chosen fields of study. We continue to value Gary’s support and friendship,” said Dr. Stephen Cobb, dean of the Jesse D. Jones College of Science, Engineering and Technology.
Boggess joined the Murray State faculty in 1966 as a member of the chemistry department and worked his way up through the ranks to become dean of the College of Science. While at the helm, Boggess actively sought supplemental funding for the college and raised over $3,150,000 in grant money.
He also spearheaded the creation of a Science Resource Center in the Blackburn Science Building, which featured a laboratory dedicated to computing, graphics and audiovisual aides to be used by both instructors and students in the teaching and learning process.
A similar space will now be named for Boggess, who formed a friendship with Jones as a teenager. The two grew up in Marshall County — Boggess attended high school in Hardin, Ky. and Jones in Benton, Ky. — and were friendly rivals on the basketball court. After graduating from their respective high schools in 1954, the two men went on to have comparable life experiences, from marrying young to pursuing higher education while holding down full-time factory jobs near Calvert City, Ky. Both earned bachelor’s degrees in chemistry and mathematics from Murray State.
While Boggess followed a career in academics, Jones went into industrial chemistry. Both had a drive to succeed as well as a great deal of respect for one another.
“From humble beginnings, both of us achieved a gratifying level of success and kept in contact over the years. I’m proud to call him my friend. I count it a special privilege to name this area in the new facility for him,” said Jones. “Dr. Boggess worked tirelessly during his tenure as dean of the Science College to advance the capability of this College. I took this opportunity to recognize the role that Dr. Boggess has played in the history of the growth of this College by naming an area for him with resources I contributed to equip the Science Resource Center.”
The naming honor came as a surprise to Boggess, who expressed deep gratitude for the kind gesture bestowed upon him by his dear friend Jones.
“It was totally unexpected,” said Boggess, adding that Jones’ “unselfish desire to share his good fortunes with so many” is helping to make life better for students today.
“He continues to do much that reflects so very positively on his accomplishments and his intent to honor family and friends that have meant so much to him. I am honored to have been a small part of that group,” said Boggess.
Jones added that opportunities like this only come around once in a lifetime, and the construction of the new engineering and physics building makes the new center possible. The facility will be located on the second floor of the new building and will offer space for independent and group study, tutoring, presentation practice, professional preparation and staff support.
“As I understand the intent, the center is exactly what I tried to promote for self-directed learning,” said Boggess. “The center can serve as a capstone experience whereby graduates can make graceful exits from their Murray State program and entrance into their next professional career choices.”
The Science Resource Center is expected to open spring 2017.