The new residence hall nearing completion on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s East Campus will carry the name of Martin Massengale, president and chancellor emeritus and founding director of the Center for Grassland Studies and Foundation Distinguished Professor.
The Massengale Residential Center will be home to students beginning this fall. The University of Nebraska Board of Regents approved the naming at its June 1 meeting.
Massengale is transitioning into retirement after more than four decades at the university. He first came to Nebraska in 1976 as vice chancellor of the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, and became Nebraska’s 16th chancellor in 1981, a post he held for 10 years. Massengale was both interim president of the University of Nebraska system and chancellor at Nebraska from August 1989 until his permanent appointment as president in 1991. When the Center for Grassland Studies was formed within IANR in 1994, Massengale became the founding director.
“Martin Massengale provided the university with tremendous leadership for decades and that started on East Campus,” Chancellor Ronnie Green said. “It is most fitting that his legacy lives on through this residential center, where our students can be reminded of his impact for many years to come.”
Massengale is the author or co-author of more than 70 scientific papers and has been a consultant to governments, agencies and universities in 14 countries. He has chaired and led many groups and organizations and is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Society of Agronomy and the Crop Science Society of America. He has been honored with a number of lifetime achievement and other significant awards including the Midlands Man of the Year, the Distinguished NEBRASKAlander award and most recently the 2016 Nebraskan of the Year, selected by the Lincoln Rotary Club No. 14 on a statewide basis.
Offering an estimated 370 beds in a mix of traditional and apartment-style units, the new residential center is built immediately north of C.Y. Thompson Library and east of the Nebraska East Union. The new space will replace the 300-bed, 1950s-era Burr and Fedde residence halls. Plans for the area around Burr-Fedde are being developed by university administrators.
The center features an open layout, more common area spaces, floor lounges and large meeting spaces to accommodate group study. The hall will have a courtyard and fire pit area with views of a prairie grass planting area to the east and the Earl G. Maxwell Arboretum to the south. Other features include a game room, social areas, study rooms and a location near the updated East Campus Recreation and Wellness Center.
“The Massengale Residential Center will reflect the university’s world-class capacity for learning, scholarly activity and outreach to the greater public we serve,” Green said.