The temporary black construction fences posted around the newly constructed Terry College Business Learning Center, otherwise known as the BLC, have been staring me and the other 8000+ students currently enrolled in Terry down for too long. It is the only thing that seems to be separating us from the official uniting of the Terry College of Business into one beautifully “connected community for learning and teaching.” (or at least that’s how it has been described to us)
Do not get me wrong. We are excited to be able to walk on the Coca Cola plaza and enjoy a coke and conversation with our professors, to connect with students in our same position, and to finally have one central place to call our own. However, to be quite honest, most of us are just excited to get an upgrade from the old, dust-filled buildings on North Campus that we are cramped in currently. New classrooms with fancy projectors, an elegant granite fountain in the middle of the Coca Cola plaza surrounded by plush greenery and trees, and an Au Bon Pain Cafe full of fresh pastries, hand-tossed salads, and make-to-order sandwiches to reward us after a long morning of classes are just a few of the perks the new BLC has to offer.
Amongst the exciting talk of new, new, new, I find myself a bit nostalgic. As the construction workers lay down brick by brick of the last two buildings to complete the final phase of the BLC, I am reminded of all that has gone into making this dream a reality. Just last semester, I had to take all my Terry pre-requisites and the Terry cohort in Brooks Hall, Caldwell Hall, and Sanford Hall, the three buildings that used to comprise of the old Terry College of Business. Brooks Hall, built in 1928, has cramped lecture halls where I unfortunately had to squeeze through the small inch of space between people’s legs and the back of the seat in front of them, trip over someone’s book bag or coffee, and barely make it to my cramped, assigned seat in my MARK 3000 class. Annoyed classmates had to put down their tiny attached desks with all of their books and laptops already sat comfortably on top in order to make room for that one latecomer 10 minutes into lecture. Do not even get me started on when someone had to use the restroom in the middle of class. I can almost feel the glares and groans. After class I would go to the Coke Refreshment Center in Sanford to try to get some work done, but the dim, creepy lights and the hundreds of people piling in and out of FINA 3000 in the lecture hall next door got the best of me every time. When I realized the younger Terry undergrads would never have to experience this, I have to admit that I was a tad bit annoyed at this prospect.
Thus, I find myself right in the middle of a very momentous and pivotal time in Terry history. I am connected to the historic roots of the old college, yet I am also able to witness the construction and commencement of a new chapter. Although a bit frustrating for me at first, I have realized that I am proud to have these memories and connections to the historic Terry. It makes me realize how privileged we are to be able to have such new and exciting opportunities. It is this pride that has continued to inspire Terry alumns to give back and to reinvest into the future of us Terry students, making the completion of the BLC possible. As we leave the old Terry behind and embark on this new journey, I am constantly reminded of the stark differences from what used to be my reality. Enjoy the new BLC young, excited, and bright-eyed Terry undergrads, but if you ever want to hear this washed-up Junior talking about what got us here, come see me.
I’ll be in the Coca Cola plaza sipping on a Au Bon Pain berry pomegranate smoothie and taking in the scenery.