Hibbing Community College to name buildings

These thinkers face difficult conditions in the “Legacy of Learners” sculpture at Hibbing Community College. This winter and spring, HCC will choose names for its major buildings. (PHOTO: Aaron J. Brown)

If you’re like me, you wonder how places got their names. There’s usually some story involved, even if it’s boring. At college you might have sat in a building named for some dusty old multisyllabic poo-bah from the past. A plaque in the lobby identified the crusty oldster, who we all assume forked over a pile of cash to live forever in name only.

In any event, it all seemed like a settled matter. No changing it. 

Well, what if I told you that everything with a name got that way somehow? And what if the way we picked the names was different than usual?

That’s the case at my place of employment, Hibbing Community College. HCC is launching a major effort to name our buildings. You or anyone else with ties to the Hibbing community may make nominations. And no, you need not pay a dime to do so. We will consider all meritorious names from college, Hibbing and Iron Range history. In fact, the name need not be for a person at all.

Right now buildings at HCC are named by letter. So, we’ve got A, B, C and D. No E, though. Who could forget F? And a G, of course. Then we skip to “L.” And, the final wildcard, “PE.” 

Some of the letters mean something. “L,” for instance, means “library. “PE” means Physical Education. “F” broadly implies “Fine Arts.” But the others are random. And many different courses are held in all the buildings. 

Further complicating matters is our major construction project. The state is constructing a new student services building that will serve as the entrance to the college. The library will move there. The “L” building has already been redesigned into the administration headquarters. And next month we’re tearing down the “G” building.

It all makes perfect sense if you’ve attended years and years of meetings on the topic, as I have, but less so if you’re a new student, community member, or a visiting professional. 

So we’re going to name the buildings. We’re also going to consider naming several other common areas, including the library, theater and more. A committee of faculty, staff, administration, students and community members will make the final decision. But they will use the suggestions made by nominators. 

The goal is to create a sense of identity and history at the college.

There are some rules for naming state buildings that must be followed. The name must have some tie to the region or college. Proper names must be from people at least one year separated from employment with the state of Minnesota. But beyond that, we’re taking all suggestions.

Submit your nominations here.

DISCLOSURE: I am a full time faculty member at HCC. The opinions I express at MinnesotaBrown.com are not those of my employer.

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.