Benedictine Hall

The teaching of the natural sciences at the college began with the construction of the west wing of Benedictine Hall. The addition was built in 1913 and it held the first formal science laboratories on campus. The science wing formed a "T" jutting out from the west. It contained a biology lab, a “modern” chemistry lab and physics lab.

Despite having the proper facilities for teaching the natural sciences, the college still lacked professors with doctoral degrees to teach those subjects. In the early 1920's, several members of the monastic community would earn doctoral degrees from secular universities and return to establish many of the college's science programs.

Biology Lab c. 1919

The biology lab located in Benedictine Hall c. 1919.

Father Hilary Jurica O.S.B earned his P.H.D. in Botany from the University of Chicago in 1922. In addition to being the first member of the monastic community to receive a Ph.D., he was also the first American Benedictine to earn a doctoral degree from a secular university. After earning his Ph.D., Fr. Hilary founded the biology department at the college (then known as St. Procopius College).

Chemistry Lab c. 1910's

The "modern" chemistry lab located in Ben Hall c. 1910's.

Father Cyprian Tomecko O.S.B. received his doctorate from the University of Illinois in 1926 for studying chemistry. Upon returning to St. Procopius College (SPC), he founded the college's chemistry program.

Father William J. Shonka O.S.B. also improved the credibility of the college's science program by earning his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Chicago in 1933.

Much like Fr. Cyprian and Fr. Hilary, he returned to SPC to help expand the natural sciences at SPC. Fr. William established the physics department.

Benedictine Hall