How VT buildings get their names

by Ariadne Manikas–

Blacksburg, Va. Feb., 19 – Classroom Building: Formerly known as “New Classroom Building,” this building at Virginia Tech has been without a traditional name for almost four years. Photo: Ariadne Manikas

Almost four years have passed since “New Classroom Building” was opened for classes on Virginia Tech’s campus, but its name remains the same. Colloquially known as NCB, the sign outside now just reads “Classroom Building,” an appropriate change since the building is no longer new.

Since NCB opened its doors, Virginia Tech has opened two other nameless buildings, “New Hall West” and “New Cadet Hall.” In 2017, before the latter was due to open, several students started a petition to name the cadet residence hall after Matthew La Porte, a cadet who gave his life defending his classmates during the 2007 shooting. This petition was denied, though the university built a memorial to the cadet in a central location on campus. 

How buildings on campus get their names are outlined in University Policy No. 12005: Policy on Commemorative Tributes. Angela Hayes, Virginia Tech’s Assistant Vice President for Advancement, authored the policy. She says the naming process can be lengthy because the university has to vet any donors or other contributors to Virginia Tech before they are granted the rights to name their building. 

“There’s a review showing that we do our fiduciary duties and due diligence,” says Hayes, “to make sure that the space that’s being named and the individual that’s being honored reflects positively on the individual being honored as well as the university.”

She says the university wants to be sure before they name a building that the name is the right one, so they don’t have to change it. 

Virginia Tech senior Rubye Egley has been attending classes in NCB for four years. She agreed saying that she thinks NCB should keep its name to avoid confusion with students.

Due to these reasons it is unclear when or if NCB and other new constructions such as New Hall West and New Cadet Hall will be properly named. Listen to the full audio report below.

Blacksburg, Va., Feb. 18 – Angela Hayes: Angela Hayes is the Assistance Vice President for Advancement at Virginia Tech. Photo: Ariadne Manikas
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