Trevecca announces construction of new health sciences wing and launch of School of STEM

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As the home of the state’s first physician assistant (PA) program, Trevecca Nazarene University understands the value of well-trained health science professionals in our world.

Today, University officials announced several actions that will make it possible for Trevecca to continue equipping graduates to make a difference through health science professions long into the future. 

“In 2021, we will begin construction of the health sciences wing, a four-story addition to the Greathouse Science Building,” said Dr. Dan Boone, Trevecca president. “In addition, we are also restructuring the schools within the University to create greater opportunities for synergy, collaboration and innovation among related disciplines.” 

The Trevecca Board of Trustees approved the construction project in meetings held virtually on Nov. 4. 

In addition, officials also announced a restructuring of the schools within the University, creating two new schools: the School of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and the School of Arts and Social Sciences. 

New Horizons: Building the Health Sciences Wing

The four-story addition to the Greathouse Science Building will add 33,000 square feet of classroom, faculty office, lab and other space to Trevecca’s Nashville campus. The new wing will house Trevecca’s PA program, established in 1976, as well as other related programs such as biology and exercise science. 

It’s a strategic move, officials say, designed to give the state’s longest-running PA program space to grow as well as nurture collaboration and innovation among faculty members and students in related disciplines. 

“Our PA program is well known throughout the state and even the country,” said Dr. Tom Middendorf, University provost. “We consistently receive 600 applications each year. The health sciences wing will give us space and facilities to grow that program while also allowing us to advance our footprint in the health sciences field. With healthcare ranking among the largest industries in the city, there’s no better place to invest in the health sciences than Nashville.” 

Construction on the addition, designed by ESa (Earl Swensson Associates), is expected to begin in early March 2021. The project, located at the corner of Dunning and Alumni Drives, is expected to be completed by late spring 2022.

New Schools

Officials will also restructure the schools that comprise the University. Effective July 1, Trevecca will establish the School of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and the School of Arts and Social Sciences, dissolving the School of Arts and Sciences. 

“The additional space provided by the new health sciences wing will provide us the physical space to bring similar disciplines together,” Middendorf said. “This will allow for greater pathways of collaboration and innovation among faculty members, but also create vibrant educational experiences for our students.” 

Since 2016, Trevecca has been comprised of six schools: the School of Arts and Sciences; the Skinner School of Business and Technology; the School of Education; the School of Music and Worship Arts; the Millard Reed School of Theology and Christian Ministry; and the School of Graduate and Continuing Studies.

The new organizational structure will move Trevecca’s nursing, biology, chemistry, engineering and mathematics programs from the School of Arts and Sciences into the School of STEM. The University’s IT programs (previously housed within the Skinner School of Business and Technology) and exercise science programs will also move under the direction of the School of STEM. 

Officials will conduct a search to find a new dean to lead the new school. 

The creation of the School of STEM will also allow for greater alignment among programs in the arts and social sciences, resulting in the establishment of the School of Arts and Social Sciences. In addition to programs previously housed within the School of Arts and Sciences, the School of Arts and Social Sciences will also include the University’s revered graduate counseling program and the Bachelor of Arts in psychology, a degree program geared toward non-traditional students. 

Dr. Lena Hegi Welch, who currently serves as the dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, will lead the new School of Arts and Social Sciences. 

In a year dominated by the challenges of COVID-19, Middendorf says these decisions reflect the University’s focus on the future. 

“The brokenness of our world revealed through the current crises in healthcare and mental health existed long before the pandemic,” Middendorf said. “At Trevecca, it is an act of obedience—we are committed to preparing Christians for leadership and service in the areas of need.” 

Media contact: Mandy Crow, 615-248-1695