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A spirit that is not afraid

Mell Street Classroom building holds ribbon cutting

Members of Auburn's campus and community gathered on the ground floor of the new Mell Street Classroom building Friday afternoon to witness its ceremonial ribbon cutting.

Although the building opened for classes earlier this August, the ceremony was held to introduce the 69,000-square-foot, $35 million project to the public.

Those in attendance included the University's faculty and staff, members of the community, Alabama State Senator Tom Whatley and State Representatives Joe Lovvorn and Mark Tuggle.

"[This building] represents 6 years of collaboration and creativity beginning with a small committee in 2011 that was charged with answering the question 'How is Auburn defined with teaching and learning’," said Provost Tim Boosinger. "That question led to this remarkable space."

Boosinger said the vision of the building was to provide a space for students to call their own, thanked everyone involved in making the project a reality and gave Auburn University President Steven Leath the stage.

Coming from a football luncheon where he noticed the ‘incredible amount of excitement and enthusiasm’ for Auburn athletics, Leath said he was happy to come and celebrate that same excitement and enthusiasm for Auburn academics.

“That's one of the great things about being president of Auburn University, you can celebrate both of those things on the same day,” Leath said.

Leath began his speech by thanking the Auburn Family for welcoming him and his wife to the community, and then shared his expectations for the new building.

"I really want to see [students] be prepared not just for employment when they leave here, but really be prepared for life," Leath said. "Auburn students are going to be able to get ahead of the curve, get ahead of students at other universities, with state of the art technologies that are going to help them learn in new and better ways."

After Board of Trustees member Michael DeMaioribus expressed his eagerness to see the future of the new facility, SGA President Jacqueline Keck spoke.

"If you look around you will see that this building is much more than just classrooms and study spaces," Keck said. "It is an environment that cultivates hard work, success, creativity and initiative."

Keck spoke to The Plainsman about her expectations for the new building.

"I think that with our world moving more towards globalization and lots of different people having to work on lots of different projects, [these classrooms] will definitely set our students up for success in the workforce by teaching them to collaborate with each other," Keck said.

Once the speeches were over and the ribbon cut, guests to the ceremony were brought on guided tours of the new facility and offered refreshments.

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