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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Ford Building Tour

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Ford Building Tour Friday, 3-20-09 - Click on Image to Enlarge.

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A little history can't hurt : $26 million building opened in the Fall of 2008 thanks to the taxpayers of the State of Minnesota and the Legislature, University leadership, and the faculty. Students roam the halls. Rocks from around the state surround the building which is full of labs and faculty offices. The Leonard A. Ford Hall, the southeast wing of the large Trafton Science Center, was named after Dr. Leonard A. Ford, a significant figure in the history of Minnesota State University, Mankato.


Dr. Ford was a professor of chemistry from 1939 until his death in 1967. He served as chairman of the Chemistry Department from 1939 to 1947, and was Chair of the Division of Science and Mathematics from 1947 to 1965. Dr. Ford had long envisioned the elevation of Mankato Teacher's College to university status, and he believed that the addition of an engineering school would achieve this goal. He worked tirelessly with professors, administrators and Minnesota state legislators to lay the groundwork for such a school. The College of Science, Engineering and Technology now offers degree programs in several areas of the field. The dental assistant and nursing programs also owe their beginnings to Dr. Ford. In addition to the dental assistant program, the dental hygiene degree is now available. The nursing program, begun in 1950, now offers bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees in nursing. Dr. Ford's passion for science extended beyond university borders and enriched the entire community.


He initiated Minnesota's first science fair in 1950. The South Central/Southwest Minnesota Regional Science and Engineering Fair is still held today and is the state's largest science fair at the elementary level. In addition, his book, Chemical Magic, is still widely used by teachers to spark the interest of young people in the field of science. The family of Dr. Ford has funded the Leonard A. Ford Lectureship, an annual event for the Department of Chemistry and Geology since 1990. They have also established a generous scholarship endowment in his name for the chemistry program.