Sigma-Aldrich Donation

Ashley Higganbotham | Staff Reporter
April 21, 2015; 11 a.m.

Lindenwood’s School of Sciences will be renaming of the biology research lab in Young Hall after the Sigma- Aldrich Corporation donated $576,000 in consumables and equipment.

Department Chair of Biology, Chad Welsh, began the application process to receive these items back in February of 2014.

“After the application process was completed, I met with a representative from Sigma to talk about what I wanted to get for the departments,” Welsh said.

Welsh said that he asked for items, not cash, because he did not want to receive cash from them, then turn around and give it back to Sigma for items that he could have gotten as a donation.

“We ended up being fifth on the list to get items,” Welsh said.

Sigma-Aldrich sent a master list to Lindenwood with thousands of items that Welsh could not only pick from, but pick out an amount of certain items.

“I looked at the list and just started clicking,” Welsh said.

The equipment and consumables started showing up in huge pallets during the fall of 2014. Most of the items were consumables, which are items that classes tend to go through fairly quickly, like rubber gloves, pipettes and sometimes molecular biology kits.

“These are things we go through a lot,” Welsh said, “and they are not cheap.”

Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences Division Chair Jennifer Firestine was surprised on how many of the items on the master list were usable.

“Everything we got can be used from Concepts of Chemistry through research  400 level chemistry classes,” Firestine said.

Firestine also said that there are more research projects available to upper division students now due to some of the items that were donated.

“Now, we are just finding a way to incorporate them into courses,” Welsh said.

While some of the items will save Lindenwood a lot of money, the lab fee required to take these classes will not change.

“The lab fee will just make sure that we keep state of the art stuff in labs,” Firestine said.

Some of the items received will last a semester, while others will last up to five or 10 years, Firestine said.

“It offsets what the university would then have to spend to buy the same materials,” Welsh said.

The Sigma-Aldrich Corporation has warehouses around the country, and sometimes they need to move items from one place to another. If the company does not want to move certain items, or starts to remove items off their catalog, they end up donating those items to schools around the country.

The only financial aspect that Lindenwood had to take care of was the shipping, because some of the items came from outside of the St. Louis area.

“For the $576,000 worth of consumables, I think we ended up paying somewhere around $5,000 for shipping,” Welsh said, “which is a ridiculously low amount.”

The last of the shipment came in a few months ago.

“The more we can do in lab,” Welsh said, “the more we can learn.”