The newest engineering building located on the corner of Highland Drive and California Boulevard was named after the prominent alumnus Grant Brown on Monday.
The “Grant M. Brown Engineering Building” is most commonly known as the building with the solid glass wall that faces Highland Drive just past the railroad underpass.
“Some of us call it the ‘Office Fishbowl’ since all the offices are open to the world,” said Amanda Runciman, a materials engineering graduate student who is also a technician for the scanning electron microscope that is located in the new building.
Associate Dean of Engineering Unny Menon introduced speakers beginning with the Vice President for Academic Affairs Robert Detweiler.
“Without (monetary assistance from the public), this campus would not be as strong as it is now, so I thank you for paying your taxes,” Detweiler said.
During the ceremony, a yellow cloth revealed an embossed image of Grant Brown.
Grant Brown’s brother, Ross Brown, is involved with the Ross Brown Family Foundation. This foundation donated money to Cal Poly that includes $200,000 for student scholarships and $300,000 worth of equipment.
Ross Brown expressed his support for Cal Poly’s ‘Learn by Doing’ philosophy.
“The Industrial Revolution was built off the backs of engineers and Cal Poly is helping to continue the development,” Brown said.
The new 32,480 square-foot building also replaces the Air Conditioning building that housed the condemned materials engineering labs.
Runciman calls those labs “The Basement” because the stairs that lead to the labs make students feel like they are going underground. Now some labs are located in the new building that Runciman said has been nicknamed “The Ward” because she said she thinks the halls remind her of a mental hospital.
The family of Grant Brown, a 1960 engineering alumnus, said they wish to “honor his memory and inspire future generations of engineers.”