Jour 203-BDP

Monday, October 09, 2006

It's All In the Name

Story ideas surround you. All you have to do is observe your surroundings and you will find news stories to write about. A walk through your campus is a start. Answer the following questions about a couple buildings on campus (in a new blog entry). 1A. For whom were the buildings named? 1B. Are there plaques on benches, walls, doorways named for people who meant something to your university? 1C. Who were they? 1D. What did they do? 1E. When did they live, die or contribute something to your school? 2A. Are there signs around campus about construction? 2B. What is being built or renovated?

A name tells a lot about a person or on Cal Poly San Luis Obispo's campus a building. Each of the state university’s residence halls are "named after famous mountain peaks or state parks in California," said Suzanne Fritz, Associate Director of Residential Life and Education. The two first year connection halls Sierra Madre and Yosemite finished in 1968 are refer to the Sierra Madre Mountains and Yosemite state park. Similarly the names of the Living Learning South Mountain residence halls built in the 1960s (Trinity, Santa Lucia, Muir, Sequoia, Fremont, and Tenaya) originate from mountain ranges, national parks/forests, and famous lakes in California. Each of the Living Learning North Mountain halls Shasta, Diablo, Lassen, Palomar, and Whitney are famous mountain peaks around California. North Mountain is the oldest dorm complex on Cal Poly’s campus built during the 1950s. The newest addition to Cal Poly’s on campus housing, the Cerro Vista sophomore apartments completed in 2004, have six sections named after each of the “Cerros” (hills) that begin in Morro Bay and end just east of San Luis Obispo. Poly Canyon Village, Cal Poly’s next housing endeavor is set to begin construction in 2006.
One of Cal Poly’s newest marvels, the Christopher Cohan Performing Arts Center and adjoining Phillips hall, is named after a few generous individuals. Howard Gee, Technical Director for the Cal Poly Theatre and Dance department, has worked for the university for 28 years and knew the significance of each building’s name. According to Gee “a classroom can not be named after a private individual but can be named after a company”. The Performing Arts Center does not constitute a classroom and Chistopher Cohan is the source of the PAC’s name. Cohan, Cal Poly alumni who owns the Golden State Warriors, pledged money for the arts center in the form of stock. According to Gee, three entities contributed to the PAC; a private foundation, the city of San Luis Obispo, and the university itself. The exterior building is named after the largest donor, Christopher Cohan. Inside, Harman Hall required additional funding from Sidney Harman owner of the international company Harman Audio. The adjoining classroom Phillips Hall is named after the lighting and audiovisual company Phillips for their contributions.
Visual and performing art buildings on Cal Poly’s campus honor specific individuals that contributed financially or academically to the department. One captivating story involves Alex Spanos for whom the theatre is named. According to Gee, Spanos was a student pursuing music at Cal Poly during the late 1930s and early 40s. Spanos departed for WWII without finishing his degree and return from the war to start one of the largest construction service companies in the United States. A self made billionaire Spanos returned to Cal Poly to contribute to the music center. After Spanos’ large endowment Cal Poly offered to name the music building Spanos Music Center. Spanos declined the honor because the music building was already named after a past mentor of his, Herold Davidson. Davidson headed the music department during the 1930s and 40s and went on to become the head of the Liberal Arts department. Today the music center has retained the name HP Davidson. Outside a bench is dedicated to William Kwan, a violinist in Cal Poly’s symphony who passed away in 2003 in a fatal car accident. The theatre is named Alex and Faye Spanos, to thank Spanos and his wife Faye. Gee takes great pride in Cal Poly’s arts department and is excited for the Davidson Music Center’s projected growth in 2007/08.

2 Comments:

Blogger Journalism 203 @ CPU said...

Excellent reporting. You uncovered some interesting details I hadn't heard of.

9:49 PM  
Blogger Journalism 203 @ CPU said...

Grade: 15/15

1:40 PM  

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