Philanthropy at Work

Reed Hall of Science and Wisner Hall of Nursing renovations and upgrades

July 7, 2020 Academics

Olivet Nazarene University is proud to announce the complete renovation of Reed Hall of Science and Wisner Hall of Nursing. Slated for completion fall 2020, returning students will benefit from transformed academic programming and experiences. Work currently underway includes new design enhancements in classrooms and building interiors, and upgrades to the buildings’ science equipment, media, and technology. These improvements will allow for increased flexibility for instruction, collaboration, and study space use, as well as provide state-of-the-art opportunities for professors and students alike. 

As with the Walker School of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics; Weber Center; Centennial Chapel; and so many others, these capital improvements are only made possible by the generous giving of our donors. Olivet is grateful for lead partners, Rick ’85 and Debbie Dykhouse for their partnership and vision to provide financial support to make the Reed Hall and Wisner Hall projects possible.

“I continue to be inspired by the generosity and partnership of the Dykhouse family,” says University President, Dr. John C. Bowling.  “Their determination to help Olivet students succeed and their passion for placing gifted young women and men in strategic leadership positions is important work that advances the mission of Olivet. These advances and renovations in the sciences and nursing will be tremendous advantages to ONU students for generations to come.”

Rick and Debbie explain, “We believe there is no better time to do all we can to partner with the outstanding ONU professors of the sciences and nursing, and do our part to equip and encourage current and future Olivet students.  In these unprecedented times, our world needs the keen minds and compassionate hearts of students trained to be transformative agents in the redemption and restoration of the world at home and abroad.”

Specific improvements include Wisner Hall’s auditorium overhaul, which will transform the large classroom experience for all ONU students. The nursing Virtual Learning Center and lab areas expansion and renovation into hospital rooms will provide better simulation for future nurses. “The healthcare field is changing constantly.  These renovations enable us flexibility in classroom space and more room for our students to practice skills, which will strengthen our nursing students’ skills for transition to their clinical site work,” says Nancy Pyle, Assistant Professor in the School of Nursing.

Additionally, Reed Hall will gain a new cell culture lab room, enhancing research and laboratory opportunities for science students, and enable instruction and learning to meet the demands of today’s challenges and opportunities in the areas of science. Dr. Mike Pyle, Professor and Chair of the Biological Sciences remarks, “This renovation represents a tremendous advance for biology. Not only does the facility receive a new look, the renovation creates and equips important state-of-the-art laboratory and research spaces for our students. These enhancements will support the tremendous growth in our zoology degree… our aging facility has tended to shade the luster of our outstanding program…that will no longer be the case!” 

Dr. Bruce Heyen, Professor and Chair of the Department of Chemistry and Geosciences, adds, “Science and technology advances rapidly, so we must stay innovative to be competitive in our field.  We are grateful to receive this gift, which made these renovations possible, and will give us the tools to do just that. We thank God that this is happening and want to glorify Him as we educate students throughout the campus.”

Dr. David Pickering, ONU Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, echoes Dr. Heyen’s sentiments, “The University depends on the financial support and special gifts of those who value a Christian liberal arts education.  We are grateful for each donor who gives to Olivet, large or small.”

Each gift makes a difference. For more information on how to help Olivet Nazarene University transform the lives of Olivet students, contact the Office of Development by sending an email to

Published 7/7/2020

Student on main campus wearing pink sweater and holding water bottle.

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