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Columbia College-Rolla receives donation from St. Louis Science Center

ROLLA, Mo., Oct. 31 - Columbia College-Rolla recently received a generous donation of rocks and minerals from the St. Louis Science Center. The donation, which includes more than 70 different types of rocks and minerals, will help bolster the college’s STEM offerings.

“We are honored to receive this collection from the St. Louis Science Center,” said D.J. Vidt, STEM lab manager at Columbia College-Rolla. “What is so great about the collection is that we have plenty of good samples of each specimen, giving students a true hands-on experience.”

Upon learning of the St. Louis Science Center’s plans to renovate some of their displays, Vidt saw an opportunity to obtain some of the materials the center would not have room to store. Vidt says the materials will enhance the laboratory and lecture courses at the college, with the approximate value of the collection around $10,000.

Established in 1992, Columbia College-Rolla was originally an extension of Columbia College-Fort Leonard Wood. In 1996, due to enrollment growth, Columbia College-Rolla was established as a separate campus. In September 2011, Columbia College-Rolla received a substantial gift from Springfield, Mo.-based philanthropist, Jim D. Morris. Morris made a donation of property with a building he owned in Rolla West, which houses the new Columbia College-Rolla campus.

Columbia College-Rolla offers eight associate degrees, 11 bachelor’s degrees and one master’s degree program on campus as well as 23 associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees online.

Founded in 1851 in Columbia, Mo., Columbia College has been helping students advance their lives through higher education for more than 160 years. As a private, nonprofit, liberal arts and sciences institution, the college takes pride in its small classes, experienced faculty and quality educational programs. With more than 30 campuses across the country, students may enroll in day, evening or online classes. The college is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Columbia College educates more than 31,000 students each year and has more than 80,000 alumni worldwide. For more information, visit