The Vogel School of Engineering celebrated its grand opening April 11th, officially dedicating the previously unbuilt half of Mercer Hall’s third floor to a future of educating missional engineering students. In attendance were representatives from the Chattanooga Engineering Club, Tennessee Department of Agriculture, Dean of Engineering Dr. Thomas Marshall, and various other representatives from the local engineering community. Also present was Dr. David Che, a faculty addition for the 2019-2020 school year. Dr. Che will expand the program significantly via his knowledge and experience in mechanical engineering.
President Stephen Livesay opened the ceremony by thanking Dr. Marshall and his assistant, Ms. Audrey Henderson, for their dedication to the school and attention to detail in the opening ceremony. He quoted Genesis 2:15 and the Creation Mandate: “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.” This, he instructed the inaugural class of engineering students, was their mission- to create and care for God’s creation with the degree they obtain from Bryan.
In addition to remarks from Dr. Marshall and a student testimonial from freshman engineering major Russell Green, the crowd was able to hear from Deborah Vogel Cornwell, daughter of General George and Doris Cornwell, the school’s namesakes. Ms. Cornwell spoke fondly of her parents’ journey to Bryan as “a leap of faith”, and how her father (unable to make the long journey from California) would have wanted to thank his mother, Anna, for encouraging him in his military career. The Vogel’s granddaughter, Elizabeth Cornwell, was also present. “My grandparent’s legacy is now your legacy,” she told the gathered engineering students.
The Chamber Singers closed the ceremony with a moving rendition of “All Glory Be to God” under the direction of Dr. David Luther. Dr. Douglas Mann, Provost and Vice President of Academics, closed the ceremony with prayer, after which the school was officially opened for tours.
The 14,000 square foot space is home to new offices, study rooms, a robotics lab, a thermal fluids lab, and a new amphitheater-style classroom, among many other additions. Over $750,000 of equipment has been installed, with more to come.