Science Hall is being renamed after former Montclair State University President Irvin D. Reid, who served from 1989 to 1997.
Reid is attributed with elevating the school from college to university status in 1994 as well as implementing doctoral research programs. His other accomplishments include establishing computerization on campus, expanding the Honors Program and implementing the Academic Success Center.
The Montclair State Board of Trustees passed a resolution to honor Reid on Jan. 27. He is the only longstanding president to not have a building named in their honor. The unveiling of Irvin D. Reid Hall is set for the fall 2023 semester and Reid will be in attendance.
“[Reid’s] visionary thinking and leadership laid the groundwork for Montclair State’s emergence as a higher education leader in the state of New Jersey, a public research institution and the second largest university in the state,” the proclamation by the Board of Trustees reads.
Alexia Anthony, a freshman psychology major, thinks that Science Hall will benefit from this name change.
“I’m glad [Reid is] being recognized and honored for their work,” Anthony said. “I think renaming the building is a great idea. Plus, ‘Science Hall’ is a boring name anyway.”
Psychology professor Saundra Collins, who taught when Reid was president, was the first to advocate for the renaming of the hall. She submitted a letter of recommendation to President Jonathan Koppell who supported the notion.
“I honestly jumped for joy,” Collins said. “It is an honor to have initiated this move and to be a part of [Montclair State], making history yet again.”
At the Board of Trustees meeting, Koppell recognized Reid’s hard work.
“[Reid] played a defining role in the evolution of [Montclair State] into something that would have been inconceivable when it opened 114 years ago as a Normal School,” Koppell said in the Board proclamation. “We are pleased to honor his legacy in this way.”
Collins was inspired by the theme for Black History Month 2023, which was “Champions on the Bridges that Carried Us Over.” Although it has been 26 years since Reid left Montclair State, his legacy lives on among current and future students through new classrooms, science laboratories and the university status of the school.
Karin Watson, a freshman animation and visual effects major, is excited to see Black representation like this on campus.
“As a Black student, it’s nice to see this kind of representation, especially as a reminder of Black History Month,” Watson said.
Reid raised funds through revenues and state support, totaling nearly $80 million toward campus renovations, including the building and naming of Dickson Hall, Yogi Berra Stadium and the ice arena.
“The effects of these groundbreaking initiatives still impact the university today,” Collins said. “For example, every faculty member has a computer on [their] desk today.”
Connor Larusso, a sophomore computer science major, is grateful to see how Reid changed Montclair State before he got here.
“I didn’t know that Reid was responsible for introducing new tech such as computers,” Larusso said. “Many students, including myself, are computer science majors, so it is great to see how far we [have come].”
The architectural plans for Science Hall were commissioned while Reid was president, although built two years after he left.
Since departing in 1997, Reid became the first Black president of Wayne State University in Michigan. He was the seventh president of Montclair State.