Dedication ceremony celebrates opening of Rees-Jones Hall; honors donors

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Photos courtesy of TCU 360/ Lena Blietz

On Friday, Nov. 7, TCU faculty, staff and students joined the University’s donors and dignitaries under a white tent to celebrate the official dedication of Rees-Jones Hall. The festive event payed special homage to the building’s namesake donors: oil executive Trevor Rees-Jones, his wife Jan, and their two sons, Trevor and David.

Among the speakers at the ceremony were Chancellor Victor J. Boschini, Jr., Provost Nowell Donovan, Student Government Association President Cody Westphal, and Clarence Scharbauer III ’73, chairman of the TCU Board of Trustees.

Trevor Rees-Jones himself also addressed the crowd. He is the founder, president and CEO of Chief Oil and Gas, as well as a TCU trustee and proud TCU parent. His sons, TCU alum Trevor and soon-to-be-alum David, also gave remarks at the event.

Part of the new “intellectual commons,” Rees-Jones Hall is the first truly interdisciplinary classroom building on campus.

The 62,000-square-foot, $27.2-million-dollar facility houses the TCU Idea Factory, the Institute for Child Development and the TCU Energy Institute, as well as many study rooms and classrooms.

“This building belongs to nobody — this building belongs to everybody,” Provost Nowell Donovan said in his dedication remarks. “We are creating a place where our young Einsteins and young Picassos can get together and appreciate each other’s disciplines.”

Even the architectural features of Rees-Jones Hall were designed to foster creativity and collaboration. Study spaces and classrooms have writeable whiteboard walls and modular furniture. The lobby features a 30-foot feature wall with the mantra “Knowledge is Power” transcribed in 22 languages. And on the third floor, vaulted ceilings and a room-within-a-room design create a “cathedral of knowledge” atmosphere to inspire innovation.

The dedication ceremony concluded with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, tours of the building, and the unveiling of the donor portrait in the building’s grand foyer.

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