The OU community officially broke ground Thursday on Gallogly Hall, which will serve as the home of OU's Gallogly College of Engineering and its diversity and inclusion program when completed.
The project was promised in April 2015 as part of a $30 million donation from Jim and Janet Gallogly, as well as Peggy and Charles Stephenson, through the Stephenson Family Foundation.
Jim Gallogly spoke before the April 6 groundbreaking ceremony and said Gallogly Hall is just the first step towards the goal that he, fellow donors and the university have of "making this college of engineering and school of bioscience one of the best" in the nation.
Thomas Landers, dean of the college, emphasized the importance of the diversity and inclusion program and his department's desire to better serve women and minorities in engineering fields by establishing a suite for the program in Gallogly Hall.
"A learning center, tutoring room and staff offices will provide a warm and welcoming space to house our nationally recognized program and enhance the recruitment, retention and graduation of a diverse workforce," Landers said.
Ali Khan, biomedical engineering graduate student, had planned to move to Australia to pursue a doctorate in augmented reality, but with the establishment of the new biomedical engineering school, he decided to come to OU instead.
"It can have a lot of an impact as compared to other fields. I could come across something, for instance a new technique or some novel idea, which later on would be good in clinical use," said Khan, who said he is excited to be a part of a new field of study on campus. "The possibility of such a huge impact is quite fascinating."