Jepson Science Center


Mr. and Mrs. Robert and Alice Jepson, courtesy of The Savannah Tribune

Alice Andrews Jepson graduated from Mary Washington College in 1964 and graciously remembered her alma mater with her unwavering support and generosity. She and her husband, Mr. Robert S. Jepson Jr., are dedicated to higher education, supporting both their alma maters (Mr. Jepson graduated from the University of Richmond) for many years.[1. William B. Crawley Jr., University of Mary Washington: A Centennial History, 1908-2008 (Fredericksburg, VA: University of Mary Washington Foundation, 2008), 383.] Mr. Jepson is the former owner of a Fortune 500 company.[2. “About Robert S. Jepson, Jr.,” University of Richmond,]  In addition to owning his own successful business, Mr. Jepson served on the Board’s of multiple other companies and was an active donor and leader within Georgia-based charities.[3. “About Robert S. Jepson, Jr.,” University of Richmond,]

Through their contributions, the University of Mary Washington was able to build the Jepson Science Center in 1998 and the Jepson Executive Alumni Center in 2004. Their gifts included one million dollars for a faculty fellowship and two million for the science center, which was added to state funds for construction.[4. Crawley, 546.] In recognition of her dedication to the school the university bestowed an honorary doctorate on Alice Jepson in 1989.[5. Crawley, 835.]

Building History

The Jepson Science Center was built under the presidency of William Anderson to replace the overcrowded Combs Science Hall in 1998. President Anderson was a major supporter of the Jepson Science Center as a part of his massive building projects.[6. Crawley, 521.] At the time, the new Science Center was the largest building on campus.[7. Crawley, 519.] Originally, the building was meant to be built across from Simpson Library, but construction issues with leveling the landscape required moving it to the left of the library.[8. Crawley, 519.]

In 2004, the campus underwent various renovations, but the Science Center was ironically among that group. Six years after it was first opened, an electrical power outage caused the Jepson heating system to fail and the pipes ruptured as a result. The labs, classrooms, and the greenhouse were damaged, but a few days later the building was put to rights.[9. Crawley, 557.]  Jepson currently houses the Departments of Biological Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Geology, Chemistry, and Physics, along with extensive laboratory spaces, and a greenhouse.[10. “Jepson Science Center,” A Walk Through Time: Celebrating 100,]

Jepson Science Center, March 2012


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