God and Mammon: The University of Georgia broke ground Friday, Apr. 26 on Correll Hall, the first of five buildings that will make up a new Terry College of Business complex at the corner of Baxter and Lumpkin streets. Along with the Special Collections Library and the new Bolton Dining Hall, the complex will constitute a new West Campus for UGA.
The good news is that the Terry College raised $35 million for the building—named for former Georgia-Pacific Chairman and Terry alum Pete Correll—from private donors, so it didn’t cost taxpayers a dime. (Future buildings will bank on state support.) The bad news is, as UGA President Michael Adams reminded those in attendance, that the university is going to have to continue to lean heavily on corporate benefactors.
“Given the government’s inability to provide everything we may need in these recessionary times, I believe we’ll have to call on our friends more often for their support as we move forward,” Adams said.
Dan Amos, the chairman and CEO of Aflac who is heading up the fundraising efforts, said the college has raised $50 million of its $70 million goal and, from the podium on Friday, half-jokingly issued an “altar call” for the rest.
Which leads to the question: Why does Correll Hall look so much like a church?
Associate Vice President for Facilities Planning Danny Sniff laughed when I asked him. Others have pointed it out, too.
The building—designed by the respected firm Robert A.M. Stern Architects—originally had one tower, but it didn’t look right, Sniff said. And a single-cupola design is reserved for libraries. So a second tower and cupola were added, one to emphasize the entrance off Baldwin Street and the other the entrance off Hull Street. Academic buildings have long been influenced by ecclesiastic structures, but Correll Hall’s church-like qualities will be downplayed in the final design, Sniff said.
Correll joked that he prayed at the Holy Shrine of the Keg Tap during college. “If they dedicated the parking lot down there by Sigma Chi to beer drinking, I’d be more honored,” he said.
And that reminded me of the fraternity houses that used to stand on Lumpkin Street where Correll Hall will be in 2015. So if one of the ones that got kicked off Lumpkin Street moves next to you, you know who to blame.
Broun Roundup: Ron Paul—the former Texas congressman, presidential candidate and founder of the modern libertarian movement—endorsed the other Dr. Paul, our own Rep. Broun, for U.S. Senate last week.
It made sense. Although they parted ways on Iraq, Broun has been comparing himself to Paul for years, and when the latter retired last year, the former took up the “End the Fed” mantle by reintroducing a bill to audit the Federal Reserve. Ol’ Crazy Uncle Liberty has built up a devoted following on the far right political fringe that Broun can now tap into to replenish his nearly empty campaign coffers. (He had about $200,000 on hand a month ago, a tenth of Rep. Phil Gingrey and potential opponent Rep. Jack Kingston’s war chests.)
But the endorsement is not without peril. As Broun tries to move toward the center of the Georgia Republican Party’s right wing, associating with Paul could cause him problems. Libertarians recently tried and failed to wrest control of the state and county parties from establishment Republicans, angering many longtime GOP activists in the process. Broun will need their volunteer hours, money and votes to win the primary, as they greatly outnumber Paul supporters in Georgia.
10th District Sneak Peek: On to Broun’s current seat, where a familiar face, retired Army Lt. Col. Stephen Simpson, is poised to enter the race.
Simpson has filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission to form an exploratory committee and had raised $46,000 as of the end of last month—including $1,000 from former Gov. Sonny Perdue, which also constitutes an endorsement, according to Simpson. That’s nearly half the amount he raised for the entire 2012 campaign, when even donors who disliked the incumbent were scared to open their checkbooks for fear of incurring his wrath.
He’d be the third candidate to enter what is shaping up to be a close race. State Rep. Donna Sheldon (R-Dacula) can no doubt count on support from others in the legislature. Walton County pastor Jody Hice—best-known for fighting to post the Ten Commandments in the Barrow County Courthouse—will have the inside track on the evangelical vote.
Simpson is a “common sense conservative,” a defense hawk who nonetheless supports a process to close some overseas military bases to save money and otherwise wants to use a scalpel to cut the federal budget, not sequestration’s chain saw. He’s a Catholic who’s anti-abortion and pro-gun rights but has an evolved, as they say, view on gay marriage, believing that religious institutions ought to be able to marry whomever they choose, and the government should stay out of it.
Is this Regina Quick Part II? We already know that Simpson can do well among Republicans in Clarke and Oconee counties. He nearly won Clarke last year, and Simpson says Oconee County Sheriff Scott Berry has endorsed him this time around. If there’s nothing going on in the Democratic primary in 2014, Athens Dems could do a lot worse than to cross over and vote for Simpson.
Human Rights Festival: The 35th annual celebration of tie dye and liberal politics returns to College Square this weekend. In the past, the festival has brought in such big-name speakers as Jesse Jackson and former Weatherman and Obama BFF (haha) Bill Ayers. This year, the headliner is Ward Churchill.
Churchill is the Dixie Chicks of academia. The tenured University of Colorado professor was fired in 2007, ostensibly for research misconduct, after he argued in a paper that “ongoing genocidal American imperialism” provoked the 9/11 attacks and compared World Trade Center office workers to Nazis. A jury later found that he was really fired for expressing an unpopular opinion (one that I don’t endorse, to be clear, although I support his right to say it). But various courts ruled that the university had immunity and would not reinstate him.
In light of the Boston Marathon bombing allegedly committed by two Muslims who were radicalized by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, it might be interesting to hear Churchill’s current views on U.S. foreign policy. He’s scheduled to speak at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, May 4.
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