Norris Hall of Chemistry Renovation

We are thrilled to celebrate the success of the Barbara and Michael Gibby ’68 Norris Hall of Chemistry Renovation Project Challenge, and community members have until June 30, 2024 to participate. Join us in the next phase of the Norris Hall of Chemistry renovation. 

Occidental is committed to ensuring that our faculty and students have the technology, space, and resources they need to teach, learn, and perform cutting-edge research. To meet that goal, we are planning an exciting and much-needed renovation of Norris Hall of Chemistry. The building, which opened in 1960, has served our campus well, but—aside from recent safety upgrades—it has not undergone significant renovations in more than 30 years. Thanks to the Barbara and Michael Gibby ’68 Norris Hall of Chemistry Renovation Project Challenge, we are closing in on our $22 million goal to begin the next phase of renovations. Join us in this next exciting phase of development.


Your support will enable Occidental to attract and retain premier teacher-scholars and modernize our facilities to support cutting-edge discovery and provide meaningful experiences in the lab — an invaluable asset for all Oxy students and a significant advantage for those who go on to pursue advanced degrees and careers in the sciences.

“We are already modernizing the ways we approach our science and our research,” says Raul Navarro, an assistant professor of chemistry, “and with these critical renovations, Norris Hall of Chemistry will finally reflect those new approaches.”

Renovations will include expanded and redesigned teaching labs; state-of-the-art faculty research labs and new offices; new spaces to encourage collaboration, creative thinking, and problem solving among students; and an entirely new Academic Mastery Program center.

To support this top College priority, contact the Office of Institutional Advancement at or call (323) 341-4OXY.

“I was privileged to spend many of my waking hours, from matriculation to graduation, in the Norris Hall of Chemistry, learning and interacting with outstanding faculty and talented peers. It really was a place where magic happened. With the passing of time, Norris is showing her age and modern pedagogy has stressed her limits. Barbara and I are committed to ensuring future Oxy generations have the same opportunities we had by modernizing Norris Hall of Chemistry so it can continue to inspire and attract the quality of faculty and students that make this place so special.”  –Mike Gibby ’68, former Occidental College Trustee; Founder, President and Chairman, Arion Systems, Inc.

Honoring President Harry J. Elam, Jr.

The Norris Hall of Chemistry renovation is a crucial step towards investing in scientific research and inquiry, a site of emphasis in The Occidental Promise, the strategic plan that will guide the College through 2030. Consider designating your gift to fund the President Harry J. Elam, Jr.  Patio at Norris Hall of Chemistry. This reimagined space will be a central, communal area for academic and creative thought exchange, peer learning, and community building, fitting to honor a president so dedicated to fostering community.

One of President Elam’s top priorities during these next few months is ensuring the funding of the next phase of the Norris Chemistry building renovation. Please join us in honoring his legacy and support the President Harry J. Elam, Jr.  Patio at Norris Hall of Chemistry.”  –Lisa Link P’18, Chair, Board of Trustees

To learn more about this funding opportunity, please contact Vanessa Marquez in Institutional Advancement, or 323-259-2559.


The Sciences at Occidental

Oxy has one of the most representative liberal arts college science programs in the country. Almost two-thirds of science majors are women, and 40 percent are students of color. Occidental is a leader among peer institutions in the number of science degrees awarded to both students of color overall, and to students from underrepresented communities.

Oxy students graduate with research experience that is typically out of reach for undergraduates at large research institutions. Through an Oxy interdisciplinary liberal arts education, students develop the ability to analyze complex scientific problems within a broader, holistic context, an essential skill for addressing today’s most pressing societal issues. Our emphasis on a peer learning model prepares our young scientists for the interchange that is so essential among research teams in real-world lab settings.

These students go on to great success after they graduate. Over the past 30 years alone, Oxy students have received two Rhodes Scholarships, more than 50 National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowships, and over 40 Barry M. Goldwater Scholarships. In addition, about 60% of Oxy’s science graduates attend graduate school. According to a 2013 report by the National Science Foundation, Occidental is one of the country’s top producers of graduates who go on to receive doctorates in science and engineering.

18 Young Scientists to Watch

Occidental’s labs are the launching pads for countless careers in the sciences—and here are 18 graduates of the last 20 years, nominated by their former faculty mentors, doing exemplary work in their field.

Alumni from the Sciences

Cheryl Prigodich
Cheryl Prigodich '06
Psychology Principal Deputy Director, Center for Disease Control
“My time at Oxy helped prepare me for my professional career. I was afforded a breadth of experiences and received constant mentoring and guidance. These opportunities taught me discipline and hard work, helped me figure out what I’m passionate about...and prepared me for a life of public service.”
Eddie Gorton headshot
Eddie Gorton '01
Psychology Principal, Colfax Charter Elementary School
"My Oxy liberal arts education helped shape how I see the world; it fortified the ideal that building community is the key to success. The better we know each other, the better we are to each other."
Ed Perezic
Ed Perezic '17
Mathematics Associate Manager, Brand Experience at Taco Bell
"There's a curiosity that comes with a liberal arts education—the thought that discovering something new is only a conversation away. That energy led me to continue to learn and ultimately find something I love doing."
Alex Urry
Alex Urry '16
Biochemistry Former Policy Adviser to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi
"The world is a complex place. But through its curriculum, Oxy helps you understand that complexity, as well as the interconnectedness of wide-ranging factors. That's been critical to my work in the political and policy system."
Contact Institutional Advancement
AGC Administrative Center 100

Occidental College
1600 Campus Road M-36
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