Published: March 4, 2010

The University of Colorado at Boulder will host a topping-out ceremony March 12 at 10 a.m. to celebrate placement of the last steel beam for the Institute of Behavioral Science building, which is under construction on the corner of Grandview Avenue and 15th Street.

Prior to placement of the beam, Chancellor Phil DiStefano and Provost Stein Sture will begin the topping-out ceremony with brief remarks. The ceremony will be held outside on 15th Street, just north of the Continuing Education building.

"Construction of a new building to house the entire Institute of Behavioral Science has been undertaken to foster work on urgent problems of societal – indeed, global – importance," said Dick Jessor, director of the Institute of Behavioral Science, or IBS, Health and Society Program. "By bringing the scholars and their research programs together in a single, cohesive, collaborative, and intellectual community, we intend to create a synergy that will amplify and accelerate the contributions of IBS to human welfare in the U.S. and abroad."

IBS has been on the CU-Boulder campus since 1957, and currently has researchers working in Colorado, across the United States and on five continents. Five research programs that have made major contributions across the globe, and in Boulder's own backyard, comprise the institute – the Problem Behavior Program, the Health and Society Program, the Population Program, the Environment and Society Program, and the Political and Economic Change Program.

Among its contributions, the institute has carried out landmark research on adolescent problem behaviors that has helped researchers and policy makers understand why youth put their lives and development at risk by participating in violent behavior and using illicit drugs.

The $14 million building project is funded by campus revenue and private gifts. The approximately 50,000-square-foot building is expected to be completed in the Fall of 2010.

The beam will carry quotations from two philosophers and a social scientist:

"The science of man is the only solid foundation for the other sciences." – David Hume

"I have sedulously endeavored not to laugh at human actions, nor to lament them, nor to detest them, but to understand them." – Baruch Spinoza

"The behavioral sciences are one of the major intellectual inventions of the twentieth century." ¬– Bernard Berelson