TUSKEGEE, Ala. (May 21, 2013) —The Tuskegee University community got an early look at its first new science building in 80 years. The ribbon for James Henry Meriwether Henderson Hall Agricultural Life Science Teaching, Extension and Research Building was cut during a ceremony May 10. Construction will be complete this summer and the building will be open to students for fall 2013 semester.
Tuskegee University President Gilbert L. Rochon at Henderson Hall ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Bricks that form the walkway were taken from Tuskegee’s old dairy barn and the Woodruff Building that once housed the School of Veterinary Medicine.
United States Department of Agriculture Secretary, Thomas Vilsack, helped to open the building. Vilsack, Tuskegee University President Gilbert L. Rochon; Marc H. Morial, president and CEO of the National Urban League; and several representatives from the university community cut the ribbon then toured the facility. The new 40,000 square-foot building will house state-of-the-art classrooms and laboratories to support science and agricultural education programs.
Henderson will provide labs for teaching introductory courses in animal, plant, soil, and environmental sciences as well as biology and chemistry. The laboratories will facilitate “hands on” experiences by students that reinforce learning of fundamental concepts and laboratory techniques, and enhances students’ analytical and critical thinking skills.
“I welcome you to a new dawn in this university’s capability for science and agriculture education and research,” Rochon said during his remarks.
Henderson marks the university’s ongoing commitment to the promotion of agricultural studies and the improvement of agribusiness in Alabama’s Black Belt region. The building also pays homage to a mix of old and new construction.
Henderson Hall was built with the plan to add a second story in the future. And, the bricks that form the walkway of the current building were taken from Tuskegee’s old dairy barn and the Woodruff Building that once housed the School of Veterinary Medicine.
“Although this new facility will house state-of-the-art laboratories and classrooms, it is rooted in the legacy of this institution,” Rochon said.
James H.M. Henderson was a Tuskegee professor and administrator who spent more than 50 years at the university. He came to Tuskegee in 1945 and taught botany and plant physiology. He also served as head of the biology department, chair of the Division of Natural Sciences and director of the Carver Research Foundation.
“This building speaks to a man who made a commitment to education,” Vilsack said. “There is no greater gift.”
Henderson Hall ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Henderson Hall building signage.
Easle displayed at Henderson Hall ribbon-cutting.
Artist rendering of the southwest view of Henderson Hall showing first-floor view.
Artist rendering of the southwest view of Henderson Hall showing second-floor view.