Buildings named after presidents, donors

Denny Mccarthy and Denny Mccarthy

While some campus buildings bear the name of a past president, alumni or other notable contributor to the University, many aren’t named after anything at all — not because of a policy prohibiting naming of those buildings, but because people haven’t paid to do so.

In collaboration between the University Board of Trustees and the Foundation Board, the University is trying to name more spaces on campus after people.

Buildings can be named after anybody if a contributor pays a minimum of 20 percent of the total construction cost, according to a Board of Trustees policy enacted last December. Other naming opportunities including classrooms, landscape features, conference rooms and offices can be purchased at a separate determined

gift minimums.

“The truth of the matter is that most of the spaces on this campus, particularly interior, are not named. The good news is there’s lots of opportunity out there for people that want to do that,” said Shea McGrew, vice president for University Advancement. “It really helps the University by providing some money to help with the projects themselves, academic programs or whatever it happens to be.”

The two boards are currently focusing on the interior spaces and buildings that are receiving renovations, such as South Hall and the new Business Administration building.

“We fully intend to have a lot more buildings and spaces within buildings named for significant donors,” said Steven Krakoff, vice president of Capital Planning and Campus Operations.

According to Krakoff, the University is doing this through development officers, who work with people who could be potential donors. They talk about the projects to get the donors to understand the significance of the spaces and try to secure a contribution.

“It’s usually through those efforts that somebody steps forward with a donation,” Krakoff said.

Dakota Elfers, an AYA history sophomore, said he’s glad that something can be done to help with University costs, despite the possibility of renamed buildings

confusing students.

“If the campus is struggling or they don’t want to raise tuition or anything and make it work for students, that’s definitely a better choice,”

Elfers said.

In addition to naming spaces for donations, the board has approved a building or exterior space named after every president as a way to honor them free of charge, the most recent being Ribeau Plaza in front of the Wolfe Center.

Although its been done for every past president, McGrew said it’s not certain that all future presidents will receive a feature in their name.

“There’s no guarantee that every president is going to have a building named after them,” McGrew said. “Just because we have some of those doesn’t mean its part of the practice that will always go on here.”