Chapman University celebrated the grand opening of its Rinker Health Science Campus Center in Irvine on Oct. 25.
The building offers meeting, study and community space at Rinker Campus. The facility gives Chapman more space to partner on events with community groups and offers academic support services, open and private spaces, food, and art and photography.
“Irvine is becoming a hub for health sciences,” Irvine Mayor Farrah Khan said before the ribbon cutting at the ceremony. “We need a pipeline of people who are going to be able to do the work … Thank you for considering Irvine as your home.”
School of Pharmacy Interim Dean Rennolds Ostrom said the new center is an investment in Chapman and in Orange County.
“There is an exploding need for health care in Orange County and the aging population needs more healthcare workers,” he said. “We’re building a campus that is going to train these healthcare professionals to improve the health of our communities.”
Crean College of Health and Behavioral Sciences Dean Janeen Hill said the new center is “a dream come true.”
“We’ve always known that we would need to have a student center where students could eat, relax, do all kinds of things besides just study. And it has been a real act of persistence and commitment on the part of the university to make sure this center came to reality,” she said.
Student leaders representing Crean and the School of Pharmacy, which are housed at Rinker Campus, spoke at the opening.
“Within these walls, we discover our passions, unlock our potential and shape our futures,” said Brenda Kilzi, a Doctor of Pharmacy student.
“This building has become an opportunity for us to engage with each other and study, not only with ourselves but other disciplines, as well as provide a space for a much-needed rest,” said Kara Ito, a Doctor of Physical Therapy student.
Vice President of Campus Planning and Design Collette Creppell thanked the students “who have advocated for this student center — waiting very patiently, eating lunch in your cars … I want to thank the students for insisting on this place. You’ve responded wonderfully since this opened and I hope you continue to make this place your own.”
After the ribbon cutting, the campus’ new panther statue was dedicated and attendees were invited to take tours.
Campus Center amenities include:
- Chef-helmed Paws Cafe, serving lunch and dinner and offering an all-day coffee bar.
- Panther Store, selling books and apparel.
- Panther Pantry food pantry, which any student can request access to.
- Fitwel certification, which indicates construction focused on health and well-being.
- Prayer and reflection room.
- Amazon locker, laptops for checkout and wireless charging packs.
- Food prep and storage space.
- Student organizations workroom, with meeting space and lockers.
Investment in graduate health science programs is one of the pillars of Chapman’s strategic plan, including achieving a state-of-the-art Rinker campus in the next five years.