Branding Expanded

While places like Auerbach Auditorium and Fiondella Field might be familiar to students, often they don’t know the people these places were named for. According to President Walter Harrison, these people have usually donated a million dollars or more to finance the construction of these places.

“The rule generally is that it can only be named for a donor,” says Harrison, “and the donor needs to have given an amount that is approved by the office of institutional advancement.”

The most recent building on campus, the Shaw Center, followed that convention. The building itself is named after the Shaw family, who provided about half of the funding to construct the building.

“And then we went out and raised the other half from a whole bunch of other people, and the way we decided to do that is we’d set different dollar amounts for different parts of the building,” he said. “For example, my wife and I donated $25,000 and for that we got our names on a faculty member’s office.”

However, not every building on campus follows these rules. The buildings making up the complexes were not named after donors to the University because there weren’t enough donors.

“In some cases, they are just famous national figures. In some cases, they are…like Edgar Allen Poe. That’s who they named Poe after. In some cases, they were famous local people, like Harriet Beecher Stowe.”

Donations to the University are generally handled by the Alumni Office. To contact them, go to