Under One Roof

Ever since Old Main was torn down in 1935, UT’s College of Liberal Arts has been scattered across the Forty Acres. Nearly 80 years later, its students and faculty finally have a home to call their own.

Located next to the new Student Activity Center in the East Mall, the new building features 200,000 square feet of tech-savvy classrooms, study space, and research facilities for Liberal Arts students, faculty, and staff.

Designed by Overland Partners |Architects, the building’s key features include:

  • UT’s Population Research Center;
  • Suites for the Plan II and Liberal Arts Honors programs;
  • The Julius Glickman Conference Center, named for Julius Glickman, BA ’62, LLB ’66, Life Member, Distinguished Alumnus;
  • The James J. Mulva ROTC Center, named for James Mulva, BBA ’68, MBA ’69, Life Member, Distinguished Alumnus;
  •  and a glass skybridge that gives students easy access to the Student Activity Center, where the anthropology department is housed.

“It’s innovative through and through,” says Liberal Arts Dean Randy Diehl, who lobbied for the building back when he was interviewing for the deanship in 2007.

Another innovation: the building’s funding model. The College of Liberal Arts is the first college on campus to fund a building on its own, without the help of the state Legislature or UT System. Even more impressive: the building was competed 14 percent under budget, with 16,000 more usable square feet than planned, and should be receiving a LEED Gold Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council—one level higher than expected.

Despite the much-earned bragging rights, Diehl stresses that the success of the building is less about the physical structure and more about the 10,000 students who will pass through its doors.

“People often think of buildings as bricks and mortar,” Diehl says. “The reality is that this building shows we support our students and faculty. It allows us to move to that next stage of excellence.”

Top, the building’s east entrance. Middle, the Lt. Governor Ben Barnes Honors Lounge. Bottom, the skybridge connecting the Liberal Arts Building and Student Activity Center.

Photos by Sandy Carson.

 

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