​Saint Martin's University launched the Science Initiative to construct a new state-of-the-art science facility to increase the number of graduates with science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, degrees in our region.

Ernsdorff Center Dedication

The Board of Trustees, University President and Science Initiative Steering Committee dedicated the new Father Bede Ernsdorff, O.S.B. Center on Thursday, May 9, 2019. This new science facility will house the Department of Math and the Father Placidus Reischman, O.S.B. Department of Natural Sciences, as well as collaborative faculty and student research spaces and teaching labs and classrooms. 


Saint Martin's University has a history of excellence in science education rooted in the Benedictine tradition of using faith, reason and service for the common good. The lab facilities in Old Main, relatively unchanged since they were constructed, were designed decades ago to serve a student population that was 66% smaller than our current enrollment.



Saint Martin's University has experienced marked increases in enrollment across all of its STEM departments.

  • Biology majors have increased to represent 10% of all university students.
  • The Chemistry department is at its highest enrollment ever.
  • More classroom space is needed for physics and mathematics due to a 30% increase in enrollment in the Marcus School of Engineering- since the construction our Platinum LEED-rated engineering facility - as these courses are prerequisites for those majors. 


$10.7 million have been raised for Saint Martin's new science building


Saint Martin's University joins a national movement to increase America's science and math graduates. The jobs of tomorrow are already here today, and many of those jobs in our region are going unfilled. Washington State has one of the highest concentrations of STEM jobs in the country, but we are one of the lowest states for producing these graduates. Saint Martin's new science building will be strategically located next to Cebula Hall and the Panowicz Foundry, creating a STEM triangle on campus.

While STEM enrollment at Saint Martin’s has grown significantly, we are losing many highly qualified students to other colleges and universities which have built state-of-the-art science classrooms and laboratories for their programs.

Building stats

Rendering of the new Ernsdorff Center
  • 30,000 square feet
  • State-of-the-art building design
  • 12 new research labs
  • 10 new classrooms/instructional labs
  • Nuclear Magnetic Resonance lab
  • Instrument lab
  • Dry lab

Naming the building

Father Bede Ernsdorff, O.S. B. and Father Placidus Reischman, O.S.B.

Saint Martin's University Board of Trustees named the new science building in honor of Father Bede Ernsdorff, O.S. B. and The Department of Natural Sciences in honor of Father Placidus Reischman, O.S.B.

Read more about the naming