Building name changes reflect


 As many students read in the Monday Morning Message three weeks ago, the names of the Ethel Austin Martin building, the Stanly J. Marshall HPER Center and the Administration Building were approved this month to be changed.

The Ethel Austin Martin Building will now be the Testing Center, the Stanly J. Marshall Center will remove “HPER” from the name and the Administration Building will now be Morrill Hall, in order to reflect their new purposes and to pay historical respects to the act that established the land-grant university system.

The most noticeable name change, the Administration Building, is being changed in respect, as a land-grant university, to the historical reference of the Morrill Act. This act was signed by President Lincoln in 1862 and started the land grant university system. 

Morrill Halls and Lincolns Halls are common at land grant universities across the country, spanning from Michigan State University to the University of Vermont.

“This building was built in two phases between 1912 and 1918 and this year marks the 100-year midpoint, and most land grant universities have both a Morrill Hall and a Lincoln Hall,” said Bob Otterson, the executive assistant to the president. “The renaming of this building reflects land grant heritage and, for many students, that is either an important part of their experience or as alumni that they can understand and remember.”

While this name change may be the most noticeable to students and faculty, the functions of the building that cater to students – such as financial aid and admissions – have been moved out of the building and into the Enrollment Service Center, which has centralized those student needs away from the Administration Building.

“If you think about many of the student functions that are important to students here have been moved to the Enrollment Service Center,” Otterson said. “I expect that the actual renaming will happen during the summer so maps can be changed, and the lettering on the building, the room indications for campus functions.”

The Ethel Austin Martin Building, which will house the Testing Center, is currently being remodeled due to the new function it will serve, whereas previously, the building housed the Ethel Austin Martin nutrition program that has since been relocated to Wecota Hall.

“[The Testing Center name change] reflects a change in function [for the building],” Otterson said. “That building was initially for biology and animal science classes, and then it became filled by the endowment by Ethel Austin Martin, which is relocated so that building is now being filled by the Testing Center, which is its usage change.”

The Testing Center, which previously was housed under the Academic Evaluation and Assessment, has only recently gained an independent identity as a department, which has also justified the need for their own building. In this move, the department hopes to expand the range of tests administered there and hopes to be more accessible to students who need their services according to Testing Center manager Kimberlie Goodfellow.

“I think it will be helpful for those utilizing our services to have the name Testing Center associated with the building… I think [the name change] will be helpful to students,” Goodfellow said. “We have had students have difficulty finding our current office, but I think it’s due to the location, not the name.”

While the Stanly J. Marshall HPER Center is not changing its function as a whole building, one original department that the building housed is no longer an existing department, and therefore the HPER part of the name is redundant.

“The removal of the four letters [on the HPER center] reflects a change in usage of the building… it reflects academic reorganization,” Otterson said. “The Stanly J. Marshall Center has all the components of an academic building along with athletics. The primary use of it is now different; it was originally the Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation (HPER).”

These building name changes were suggested to change by multiple personnel, including President David Chicoine and Provost Laurie Nichols. The names had to go through an approval process by the Board of Regents that had to follow naming guidelines.

“While Administration may reflect the function, the Morrill Hall serves as a significant name,” Otterson said.” [The other two] really reflect academic changes in function and reorganization.”

As the Testing Center gets ready for their transition to their new building, they hope that their new location caters to everyone’s convenience even more.

“We are excited for the renovations to be done and for our move more toward the center of campus. I think it will allow students easier access,” Goodfellow said. “We are planning an open house when we move.”