Huston-Brumbaugh Nature Center Dedicates Elizabeth A. Koch '58 Environmental Learning Center
April 08, 2010
The John T. Huston - Dr. John D. Brumbaugh Nature Center of Mount Union College held the dedication of the Elizabeth A. Koch '58 Environmental Learning Center on Saturday, November 16.
Koch received a bachelor's degree in biology/chemistry from Mount Union College in 1958. She received her Ph.D. from Northwestern University, where she later became an assistant professor. At the Finch University of Health Sciences/The Chicago Medical School, Koch became course director and principal lecturer in human genetics for medical and graduate students. There she met and married Robert H. Spitzer, and they became research collaborators for many years.
An Ohioan by birth, Koch exhibited a strong early interest in the sciences. As a result of a youthful farm life near North Lima, she became attracted to the biological sciences, particularly to genetics.
Until her death in 1998, Koch had an abiding interest in human genetic diseases and was supportive of the Luther Home of Mercy (Williston, Ohio) and the Lamb's Farm (Libertyville, IL). She was interested in antiques, gardening, and traveling to sites of botanic and avian activity.
The Environmental Learning Center was made possible through a donation made by Robert Spitzer in honor of his wife. Spitzer attended the dedication ceremony for the Center.
Also on Saturday, a ceremony was held to dedicate the "Mother's Fountain." The fountain was given in memory of four women, by various donors and by Ann Hendel, the potter who constructed the fountain.
Volunteer awards were given to the hundreds of volunteers who have donated over 2300 hours to the Nature Center in the past year. Ned and Becky Shattuck were given a special "From the Heart" award. The Shattucks operate the Huston House Bed and Breakfast that is surrounded by the Nature Center. Volunteer of the Year awards were given to the Armstrong family. Jerry, Mary and Robert Armstrong have donated many hours to volunteering at the Nature Center.
A special recognition was given to a portion of the boardwalk at the Nature Center that has been named "Webster's Way," in honor of the late Dan Webster, a volunteer and member of the Washington Township Ruritans. Webster, along with other members of the Ruritans, donated many hours constructing the boardwalk at the Nature Center.