When the Kleberg Animal and Food Sciences Center was built in 1975, an Animal Science student lounge was provided on the first floor. This area was removed in 2004 to provide administrative offices for a new department in the building. Not long after that, Howard Hesby and others worked to find another suitable area for Animal Science students to study, congregate, etc., and the idea of renovating the atrium to make it more student-friendly was born. Shortly after that, Dr. Hesby passed away. He was a great friend of students in the Department and it was determined that it would be appropriate to name the planned atrium after him, now known as the Howard Hesby Student Atrium.
Designs have been finalized and renovation will begin in May 2011. Efforts are underway to raise funds needed to complete the project. As part of that effort a book titled “Big Hands, Big Heart” has been completed. The volume in a compilation of stories submitted by friends, family, colleagues and former students of Dr. Hesby. Each contribution to the Atrium of $25 or more will receive a copy of this great tribute to a truly special man.
The final design will appropriately honor Dr. Hesby’s legacy. The atrium will reflect the three departments located in the building – Animal Science, Nutrition and Food Science, and Poultry Science. Most importantly, the atrium will be a student-centered place where faculty and students can interact, and where students will feel comfortable and comforted.We believe it will become the family room of their Aggieland home.
The timeline for completion is Fall 2011. Students are eager to have a location where they can come together in a casual setting to study, learn, work and relax. 2011 also marks the 100th anniversary of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Texas A&M University, and Dr. Hesby was a pivotal figure for more than 30 of those years. The many generous donors also are eagerly awaiting completion in order to honor they man they knew and loved.
For further information regarding the Hesby Student Atrium project or to provide a financial contribution, please contact:
Monica Delisa, Senior Director of Development
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Texas A&M Foundation