SPC dedicates Dr. John M. Chapin Science Lab at Bay Pines STEM Center

Bay Pines Dedication CeremonyMore than 80 people filled the new community room at SPC’s new Bay Pines STEM Center on June 28 to dedicate the science labs in honor of Dr. John Chapin.

Dr. Linae Boehme-Terrana and Marcia Chapin, Chapin’s wife, welcomed community leaders, faculty and staff to the new center.

“It’s a tremendous honor to be here on behalf of my late husband, John Chapin,” said Chapin. “St. Petersburg College Bay Pines STEM Center was near and dear to his heart and the success of students.”

Former State Sen. Dennis Jones recalled the day that he, Dr. Bill Law and Chapin looked at the property to assess it’s value and potential purpose.

“They were talking immediately,” he recalled of Law and Chapin. “The wheels started turning that day.”

Chapin’s daughter, Kristen Johnson, recalled growing up in science labs alongside her father, and discussed his passion for students and science.

“He was more than a science guy,” said Johnson.  “He was a believer in people. This center is the embodiment of his beliefs. Thank you for letting a little piece of him be forever that teacher in the science labs.”

Dr. Natavia Middleton, Dean of Natural Science and Engineering, gave remarks on the future of the center and its impact to the community.

“I like to think of the future of STEM here as really a public service to our community,” she said. “We hope that every experience will allow the community to engage with science.”

Longtime friend and colleague Dr. Bill Law reflected on how Chapin and he served together over the years at different jobs in Florida and Texas. He remarked on Chapin’s dedication to the project.

“This was his dream,” Law said of Chapin. “Unfortunately, he couldn’t make it to the finish line. But none of us were here at the beginning of the college, and none of us will be here at the end. But along the way we’ll make marked contributions.”

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