The community celebrated Bob Bell’s service to Tech Thursday when the Nursing and Health Services Building was renamed Robert and Gloria Bell Hall, in honor of the former president and his wife.
Bell served as the president of the University for more than a decade.
“Dr. Bell recognized the need for a strong nursing school in rural Tennessee and garnered support from the state legislature, U.S. Congress and private and corporate donors to fund the construction of the Nursing and Health Services Building,” said TTU President Phil Oldham.
“Dr. Bell envisioned that this building would lead to the establishment of auxiliary programs in family life, nutrition and healthcare as catalysts for innovation and growth,” said Oldham. “This building also signaled a transformation in the nursing program so that it now better meets the needs of traditional students as well as working professionals.
“As always, Dr. Bell’s initiative was to equip students to succeed,” Oldham said. “Our students consistently pass the national licensure exam with passage rates of 97-98 percent or greater.”
As eighth president of Tech, Bell led the University through more than a decade of steady enrollment growth. TTU was consistently ranked among the nation’s best universities during his tenure, and the TTU endowment more than doubled during his presidency.
Bell joined the TTU faculty in 1976 in the College of Business, and he served as its dean from 1991 to 2000.
Gloria Bell embraced the role of serving the university and the community as first lady of Tennessee Tech. She hosted many events, established campus traditions and created a culture of appreciation for the arts, service and education.
In 2003, she created the university flag to symbolize the strengths of TTU – a proud spirit, a solid academic reputation and a foundation of character and commitment – that permeate every program at the University.
Robert and Gloria Bell Hall is located at 10 West 7th Street on the TTU campus.
The TTU Brass Arts Quintet provided a prelude and ceremony music. TTU professor William E. Woodworth provided carillon music, playing the system of bells from the clock tower of Derryberry Hall before and after the naming ceremony.
A reception was held in the building’s rotunda.