Rice University’s Student Newspaper — Since 1916

Thursday, June 13, 2024 — Houston, TX

New Brockman Hall dedicated

By Hallie Jordan     3/31/11 7:00pm

Over 150 people gathered for the official dedication of the new Brockman Hall for Physics and Astronomy on Thursday, March 24.

The ceremony included speeches from several Rice leaders including President David Leebron and Chair of the Board of Trustees Jim Crownover.

"Brockman represents in a fundamental way our commitment to curiosity-driven research," Leebron said.



He reiterated its importance, emphasizing that Brockman Hall is what Rice needs to compete for world-class faculty.

"Physics had been part of our university since the beginning," he said.

The state-of-the-art building will allow the physics department to participate in modern physics research, Department Chair Barry Dunning said.

One key reason for Brockman's creation was to help the department collaborate and function as one entity, Dunning said.

"This is an opportunity to bring together everyone," Dunning said. "Our faculty had been spread out over five buildings."

The idea to have a new physics building was initiated by former Dean of Natural Sciences Kathleen Matthews. According to Matthews, the project began in 1998.

Brockman was designed by the firm KieranTimberlake Associates and emphasizes Rice's interest in good architecture.

"It reiterates the importance of architecture to provide environments that inspire people," Leebron said. "It makes every building around it look better as well."

Although it is featured in the building name, the astronomy department will remain at its current location in Hermann Brown Hall.

"The site was chosen because it is in the natural science area, and we wanted to create sort of a focus area, but we could not have built a building big enough for astronomy here," Dunning said.

With Brockman's two-foot-thick floors eliminating vibrations, physics research can now go on all day and night, Dunning said. In Herzstein, researchers had to wait until night to do their work because of so many vibrations from the building, he said.

Herzstein will be renovated this summer, and the political science department is scheduled to relocate there from the Baker Institute. However, some physics classes will still be taught on the second floor and in the amphitheater, Dunning said.

"We are exceedingly fortunate and will be able to move to the next level in physics," Dunning said. "Rice is being very good to us."



More from The Rice Thresher

NEWS 6/5/24 7:37pm
NOD permanently canceled, Rice strips away-decades old campus tradition

After 50 years of decadence, Wiess College’s infamous underwear party is no more.  Born in the early 1970s after a group of Wiess students poured all their alcohol into a bathtub — creating a brew “so potent it removed the varnish” — Night of Decadence has spent years in the national eye. Allegedly recognized as one of Playboy’s top college parties in the nation, NOD has also been subject to mounting scrutiny over alcohol use and an “explicitly dangerous and sexual atmosphere.” Rice has now permanently canceled the public, Dean of Undergraduates Bridget Gorman and Wiess magister Flavio Cunha announced in a message to campus June 5.

NEWS 5/24/24 11:48am
Rice Mutual Aid partners with student organizations to fundraise for Gaza

Rice Mutual Aid launched a fundraising campaign for Gaza on May 13 in partnership with 15 other student organizations at Rice, including Rice Students for Justice in Palestine, Rice Pride, the Hispanic Association for Cultural Enrichment at Rice and the Rice Muslim Student Association. RMA will direct donations towards American Near East Refugee Aid, a non-governmental organization that provides humanitarian aid and emergency relief in Palestine, Lebanon and Jordan. A day after its launch, the campaign raised over $2,000 according to RMA’s Instagram.


Comments

Please note All comments are eligible for publication by The Rice Thresher.