Construction on Schermerhorn began in 1896. An inscription above the entrance reads “For the advancement of natural science. Speak to the earth and it shall teach thee.” The centers and departments located in this building include: African-American Studies; Anthropology; Art History and Archaeology; Geology; Psychology; Women’s Studies; the Miriam & Ira D. Wallach Fine Arts Center, and the Center for Environmental Research and Conservation.

Franz Boas founded the nation’s first department of anthropology here in 1899. Graduates from this program include pioneering cultural anthropologists Ruth Benedict and Margaret Mead.

Schermerhorn is well known in science circles as the site of Thomas Hunt Morgan’s drosophila experiment, which laid the foundation for modern genetics and helped him earn the Nobel Prize in 1933.