Gifts allow the CLC to grow, serve more students

Written by Tracey Reitz

The green house (left) served as the CLC location. The house was demolished in 1998 to make way for Shain Research Tower.
Allice Dang teaching Chem 345 students in the center’s location inside the Medical Sciences building.


The Chemistry Learning Center (CLC) at UW-Madison has undergone significant transformations in recent years, ushering in a new era of educational support and innovation. Founded in 1974, the CLC has long been a cornerstone of academic excellence, providing a nurturing environment where students collaborate with instructors in small groups. However, the past few years have brought about profound changes that have revitalized the center’s mission.

One of the most notable developments is the expansion and modernization of the CLC’s physical space. Due to limited resources in the New Tower, the Department of Chemistry undertook an ambitious endeavor to design and renovate space in the Medical Sciences Center, located just across the street. This expansion doubled the square footage of the CLC, offering students a more comfortable and spacious environment for their learning endeavors.

In 2021 the CLC received a generous donation of gift funds, catalyzing its growth. This support allowed the center to increase its staff from eight to 11 members, a vital step in accommodating the rising number of first-generation and low-income students seeking assistance in general and organic chemistry. These enhancements have made a tangible impact, fostering a more welcoming and supportive atmosphere for the diverse student body.

As the CLC continues to evolve, it has also seen a changing of the guard in leadership. This past summer, the former director Dr. Tony Jacob retired, and the center welcomed Dr. Tracey Reitz, an experienced CLC instructor, as the new director. To celebrate the mission of the CLC and showcase the revamped facility, an open house invited colleagues and campus partners to experience the CLC’s unique charm.

Today, the Chemistry Learning Center is abuzz with student activity, becoming a hub for academic growth and collaboration. The dynamic changes in recent years have breathed new life into this cherished institution, ensuring that the CLC remains a vital resource for students at UW-Madison.