While frantically running around campus trying to get to from classes to dorm rooms, most students don’t take the time to stop and appreciate the historic value of the buildings they spend so much time in. Some buildings were named after important presidents, deans and professors of Tech.
To help you out, here is a list of major Tech buildings and the significance behind their names.
The Harrison Residence Hall is named after President Edwin Harrison, Tech’s sixth president.
Harrison earned a master’s in mechanical engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute in 1948 and received his doctorate from Purdue University in 1952.
In 1961, when the first black students were admitted to Tech, Harrison ordered students to remain peaceful or face expulsion.
Upon his resignation in 1969, Harrison was presented with a “T” that had been taken from Tech Tower.
The Glenn Residence Hall is named after William H. Glenn, an alumni who graduated from Tech in 1891 with a degree in mechanical engineering.
He is known for his help in the creation of the Georgia Tech Alumni Association, of which he became president in 1921.
After graduation, Glenn worked for the Georgia Railway & Electric Company and the Southeastern Compress & Warehouse Company.
The Folk Residence Hall is named in honor of Edwin H. Folk, a renowned English professor who taught at Tech from 1924 to 1959.
He became one of the most popular professors during his time on campus.
This building, which houses Tech’s school of Electrical and Computer Engineering, was named after Blake Ragsdale Van Leer, Tech’s fifth president from 1944 until his death in 1956.
Van Leer received his degree in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University.
During his time as Tech’s President, the school started admitting women for the first time and took significant steps towards achieving integration.
The School of Aerospace Engineering is named after Daniel Guggenheim, an industrialist and philanthropist.
In the 1920’s, he and his son created the Daniel Guggenheim Medal for Achievement in aeronautics. This award provided grants for Tech’s aeronautical research department.
Originally named the Georgia Tech Theater for the Arts when it opened its doors in 1992, the performance center was soon renamed to honor the memory of Robert H. Ferst, a Tech alumnus from the class of 1938.
Ferst later went on to serve as the chairman of Scripto Pen & Pencil. The Ferst family, including Tech alumni Monie (ME ‘11), Frank (ChE ‘21), and Alvin (IM ‘43), is also memorialized for their contributions and service to the institute in the name of Tech’s main thoroughfare, Ferst Drive.
The Howey-Physics building, home to physics, calculus and a variety of other lectures, was named after Joseph H. Howey in 1976. Howey served as chair of the School of Physics.
The Klaus Advanced Computing Building is named after Christopher W. Klaus. He is the founder and former CTO of Internet Security Systems which he founded in the early 1990’s while he was a student at Tech. Klaus became a generous contributor to Tech when he gave a $15 million naming gift to build the new home of the College of Computing.
The D.M. Smith Building is one of 12 structures making up Tech’s Historic District. The building is named after D.M. Smith, a professor and mathematician at Tech.
The building houses several academic departments. He attended Vanderbilt University, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1905 and a master’s degree in 1906.
Smith was often seen around campus driving a black coupé automobile resembling the Ramblin’ Wreck.
One of the buildings students spend the most time in is the Judge S. Price Gilbert Memorial Library. The library was named after Judge S. Price Gilbert, a Georgia Supreme Court Justice. Gilbert was also a member of the Georgia House of Representatives from 1888 to 1893. He served as a superior court judge in Georgia from 1908 until 1916.
Erected in 1905, this administrative building is named after Lyman Hall who was Tech’s first mathematics professor and the Institute’s second president.
He graduated from West Point and was reportedly the first faculty member to suggest that Tech build on-campus dormitories to curb behavioral problems.
Lyman Hall Laboratory of Chemistry was named in his honor after he died from health problems attributed to stress from fund-raising for a new chemistry building.
Brittain Dining Hall was opened in 1928 and is named after Marion Brittain. Brittain served as the president from 1922-1944. Before he was named president he served as the superintendent for the state of Georgia.
He is credited with establishing the Daniel Guggenheim School of Aeronautics and with nearly doubling the Institute’s enrollment while he was president.
The construction of Brittain was a multi-departmental event and every college at that time is contributed in some way to the construction.
It is reported that the College of Architecture designed the building, the textile department made the tapestries that hang on the walls, the ceramic department made the tiles and the light fixture supplies were donated by the mechanical department.
Brittain has been renovated four times once in 1964, 1999, 2002 and 2007.
Russ Chandler Stadium is located on the previous Rose Bowl Field constructed in 1930 with the money that Tech received from going to the Rose Bowl.
The field was completely reconstructed with a $9.7 million renovation in 2002 but is still referred to as “The Rusty C.”
Bobby Dodd Stadium is named after Tech’s Director of Athletics from 1951-76 and football coach that led the football team to one of its most successful periods in their history.
The expansion rebuilt the lower-East seating bumped the seating capacity up to 55,000.
Grant Field was built in 1913 and was named after the Grant family that donated $15,000 to build the first concrete structure around the field.
The name, Hugh Inman Grant Field, came from the Grant family’s deceased son.
The stadium is the oldest on-campus field in NCAA Division 1-A.
The space served as a makeshift field beginning in 1905 but did not become an official stadium until students build the stands with the money the Grants donated.
The original seating only held 5,600 spots but by 1925 the stadium’s capacity had reached 30,000.
The stadium underwent a steady series of renovations to add more seating. After the South Stands were demolished in 1985, the William C. Wardlaw Center was built for the Athletic Association and the stadium was reduced to 46,000. After Bobby Dodd’s death in 1988 the Board of Regents voted to change the stadium name to “Bobby Dodd Stadium.”
The Cherry Emerson building, the home of Tech’s biology department, is named after alumnus Cherry Logan Emerson, ME 1908 and EE 1909.
Emerson, the son of Tech’s first dean William Henry Emerson, worked at Westinghouse Electric, Duke Power, and Robert and Company, where he was named president in 1933.
He returned to Tech in 1945 as the dean of the College of Engineering, and served as vice president in charge of expansion from 1948 until leaving in 1955.