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Engineering Building takes name of former president

By Kaila Frisone
On February 13, 2012

At the recommendation of the Naming Committee, the Miami University Board of Trustees voted February 3 to name the central section of the Engineering Building after James Garland, who served as Miami's president from 1996-2006.

School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS) Dean Marek Dollár and several SEAS faculty members recommended to the Naming Committee that the central section be called Garland Hall.

Donald Crain, chairman of the board of trustees, as well as three former chairmen, recommended Garland's name be given to that facility.

The Committee on Naming of Building Facilities serves as an advisory board that recommends suitable names for the buildings, facilities and programs to the Board of Trustees.  

They recommend names to the Board for facilities on Miami's campuses in Oxford, Middletown and Luxembourg.  

The committee is comprised of three faculty and staff members (at least one with emeritus rank), four alumni representatives, one current member of the Board of Trustees, and the Vice President for University Advancement.  

The committee makes its recommendations on two criteria.

First, the name could pay tribute to an alumnus, faculty member, administrator, trustee or distinguished citizen for their service to Miami, according to Mackenzie Becker Rice, director of University Advancement Administration.  

Second, the name could honor a donor who has made a substantial financial contribution to a building, facility or program.

The donor could have also provided the total cost of a component of a new or existing building, or made construction of a building or facility achievable, according to Rice.

The donor can be living or deceased, and the Vice President for University Advancement determines specific contribution levels upon recommendation of the Stewardship Committee of the Miami University Foundation, according to Rice.

Emily Nick, a sophomore psychology student, is curious as to why the building for her major has not yet been named.  

"I think the Psychology Building should be named after someone who had an impact on the psychology department here at Miami," Nick said.  "It would be nice to have a name like most other buildings on campus."

Rice said the Psychology Building and other unnamed buildings do not currently have any prospective names.

According to Rice, the naming committee discussed naming a not yet existent residence hall after Robert Etheridge, former Vice President of Student Affairs who died June 9, 2010.  However, it is too soon for the name to be approved.  

The committee will not normally consider the person whose name may be honored until three to five years after his or her retirement, resignation or death.

"Rather than making a rushed decision, we allow some time to really think through what should happen, what's the right decision, and what's the right naming opportunity for that person," Rice said.  

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