Chesapeake Bay Magazine
October 23, 2019
Environmental students are often attracted to Chestertown’s Washington College for its proximity to the Chester River and the Chesapeake Bay. But the college’s new, $11.5 million environmental center brings the Chester literally into the classroom.
That’s because it features a marine lab with a river flow-through system, which carries ambient water right from the Chester River inside, so students can study river ecology and organisms in a controlled environment.
Semans-Griswold Environmental Hall, dedicated on Friday, is named for Truman T. Semans, a founder of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF), and Jack “Jay” Griswold, a former CBF board member and longtime Washington College board leader.
The building is the new home of Washington College’s Center for Environment & Society. Director John Seidel says the new building “is going to help us take advantage of place as never before. I do believe this is a game-changer.”
The environmental hall is paid for with $4 million in state funds, at a total cost of $11.5, with the rest raised in just six months.
“You’re filling a growing need in our sciences with your environmental science programs,” said Marylad State Comptroller Peter Franchot. “It’s fulfilling crucial research on the Chesapeake Bay. I couldn’t be prouder of this facility.”