May 06, 2003 —
On May 5, the School of Engineering held groundbreaking ceremonies for the new Ronald Tutor Hall. This eagerly anticipated building is a central component of the School’s plan to become one of the nation’s elite engineering schools. Tutor Hall has been designed to foster collaborative, leading-edge research and to provide a rich educational environment for undergraduate students, two goals that are critical for ensuring the School’s academic excellence and success. The 103,000 gross square foot, six-floor building will be located in the heart of the School of Engineering just south of the Engineering Quad. Construction is scheduled to be complete by December, 2004, with occupancy in time for Spring Semester 2005, according to Associate Dean, Sue Lewis, project manager for Ronald N. Tutor Hall.
The new building will house research laboratories in three rapidly evolving fields that the School has identified as key research initiatives for the coming decade: biomedical technology, information technology and nanotechnology. Dramatic advances in these fields are anticipated to significantly improve human health and welfare, and the School is committed to increasing faculty representation and research in these disciplines. Because these technologies will not evolve in isolation from each other, but will overlap and interact, often in unanticipated ways, Tutor Hall will bring faculty from many disciplines together in one location, encouraging maximum synergy and creativity.
The new building will also feature a student lounge and courtyard café where students and faculty can congregate to exchange ideas, study and socialize. Ronald N. Tutor Hall is envisioned as a home for Engineering’s undergraduate students. It will provide three instructional laboratories, a student lounge, centralized offices for the Undergraduate Student Affairs, the Engineering Mentoring Program, the Center for Engineering Diversity, Women in Engineering and the student tutoring program, as well as space for student organizations and meetings and undergraduate advising.
Much of the School’s success depends on the quality of its research and the ability of its faculty to attract research funding in a competitive environment, says Dean C.L. Max Nikias. “Academic excellence starts and ends with scholarly faculty and research. Outstanding faculty lead to cutting-edge research, which attracts more research funding, which in turn attracts high-quality students. This leads to preferential recruitment of our graduates in the marketplace, augmenting the School’s reputation and encouraging stakeholders to increase their support for the School. This, of course, is what enables us to improve our facilities and infrastructure, thus enticing first-rank faculty to USC.”
Ronald N. Tutor, who is a USC Trustee and President/CEO of Tutor-Saliba Corp., pledged $10 million to name the new building. In addition, the late San Marino investment banker Dwight C. “Bill” Baum gave $2.5 million to name the student lounge and café. Funding for the building’s construction has been finalized, and donors now have an opportunity to support the programs and research that will be housed in the new building.
This phase of the Tutor Hall project is extremely important to the School’s future success. For this reason, the School of Engineering plans to recognize gifts of $25,000 or more in support of student programs, research conducted in Ronald N. Tutor Hall, undergraduate scholarships or endowments in these areas, by placing the donors’ names on a wall or individual plaques in appropriate areas of the building.
“We are very excited to be starting construction on Tutor Hall,” says Christopher Stoy, CEO, External Relations. “This new building sets the stage for significant advances in the School’s ability to recruit and retain high-quality faculty and students, by fostering groundbreaking research and providing a centralized home for our undergraduate students. We hope that the School’s alumni and friends will want to support this exciting endeavor.”
For information on making a gift to support Tutor Hall programs or research, please contact Christopher Stoy at (213) 821-2400.