NFA Renamed in Honor of Past President

Kristine Young

Kristine Young

Every year students come back to SDSU to see a land of blue and yellow, familiar faces and new changes. Along with the ever-familiar construction projects and the buzz of the first football game, students are coming back to find a new name for a familiar building. The Board of Regents approved the change of NFA to Wagner Hall last April.

Wagner Hall is named after former president of SDSU and his late wife, Robert and Mary Wagner. Robert served as president from 1985 to 1997.

“Many, many years of service and dedication to this institution are why the Wagner’s rose to the top when renaming NFA,” said Laurie Nichols, provost and vice president for academic affairs. “Robert Wagner is remembered on campus for two things. First, for many alumni he is remembered as the professor of marriage. He was an incredible teacher and students often had to sign up three semesters early to get into his popular marriage class. Second he is remembered as a president with great leadership skills who led us through a financially challenging time.”

According to the SDSU Foundation’s website, Robert earned a sociology degree from SDSU and was a sociology professor and administrator before his presidency. Mary earned both a master’s degree in social sciences and PH.D. in sociology from SDSU. She served in the South Dakota House of Representatives and South Dakota Senate before becoming a sociology teacher at SDSU.

“Naming NFA Wagner Hall is a way to provide recognition of Wagner’s accomplishments at SDSU as president,” said President David Chicoine.

“The naming committee at SDSU comes up with possible names for buildings and positions on campus. After the committee has narrowed their decision down to one name, they present the name to the president of SDSU, and then it is approved by the BOR,” said Nichols.

Names of buildings and positions on campus are usually named in two ways. One way is that a building or position is named after a financial donor who contributes 50 percent or more to that particular building or position. The other option is to name the building or position after a president, dean or beloved faculty member who have made considerable contributions and who people love and respect.

Tyler Odegaard, a senior biology and economics major, is happy to see the building renamed.

“After calling it NFA for so many years it will be hard for me to make the transition, but I’m happy to see a past president honored for his service and accomplishments,” Odegaard said.