The $88-Million Facility Named in Honor of Nationally Known Philanthropists Calvin and Tina Tyler
BALTIMORE — An enthusiastic crowd attended the ground breaking ceremony today for Morgan State University’s future student services building, Calvin and Tina Tyler Hall. Construction of the $88-million, state-of-the-art facility is scheduled to begin in 2018, and its opening is slated for 2020. The event also celebrated the building’s namesakes, Calvin E. Tyler Jr. and his wife, Tina, who were honored as special guests. The Tylers, both natives of Baltimore, are among Morgan’s most prominent benefactors. Their $5-mllion gift to the University has provided funds for full, need-based scholarships for more than 200 Morgan students from their hometown and is the largest individual donation in the university’s history. Calvin Tyler is a retired senior executive for UPS and an alumnus of Morgan.
The Tyler Hall ground breaking was the second milestone in two weeks in the development of Morgan’s physical infrastructure. The grand opening of the university’s new behavioral and social sciences facility,Martin D. Jenkins Hall, took place on Sept. 14.
“Growth is essential to the vibrancy and the relevancy of a modern university, and Morgan must never, ever cease to grow,” said MSU President David Wilson in his remarks at the ground breaking. “We must renew and upgrade our facilities. We must continue to embrace the best academic practices in the classroom…. We must continue to embrace the best administrative and managerial service excellence practices throughout our campus community. We are simply determined here at Morgan to be one of the most innovative and one of the most relevant universities in this country in the coming 150 years, as we have been during our first 150 years.”
Baltimore City Mayor Catherine E. Pugh, a two-time Morgan graduate, spoke to the gathering about the beneficial impact the university and the Tylers have made on their community.
“I am…very grateful to the university, because we continue to raise up great students and to put them out into the communities as leaders,” Pugh said. “Mr. Tyler, I want you and Tina to know what you have instilled in these young people, giving them the opportunity to attend this university…. Thank you on behalf of all of the students who will walk through these doors.”
Other elected officials who gave remarks during the ceremony were Maryland Lt. Gov. Boyd K. Rutherford, Maryland State Sen. Joan Carter Conway, Maryland State Delegate Curt Anderson and Maryland State Sen. Nathaniel J. McFadden, who is also a graduate of Morgan. Cheryl Y. Hitchcock, MSU’s vice president for Institutional Advancement; Kweisi Mfume, chair of Morgan’s Board of Regents; Kara M. Turner, Ph.D., Morgan’s vice president for Enrollment Management and Student Success; and Calvin Tyler also addressed the audience.
Located on the University’s main campus, Calvin and Tina Tyler Hall will house nearly 20 student support departments, many of which are now located in the university’s historic Montebello Building. The building is designed with 21st-century technology and will use best practices to enhance the student services experience at Morgan. Among the many amenities of the 139,000-square-foot building will be a large welcoming area to assist with the multitude of student services, a 250-seat recruitment room, an atrium that will enable staff to collaborate with other offices quickly and large gathering spaces for community service events. The building will be a technology-rich environment with video walls in large areas and dynamic signage. It will also have a robust, high-speed, next-generation network to keep faculty, staff, students and visitors connected with the world. Tyler Hall is planned to be a LEED Silver Certified building and will use energy-efficient practices to reduce water and electricity usage and maintain a healthy environment for the users.
Calvin Tyler’s personal story touches on the financial struggles he had while attending Morgan. He was the first person in his family to attend college when he entered Morgan to study business administration in 1961. But he had to interrupt his higher education because of lack of funds, in 1963. He took a job as one of the first 10 drivers at UPS in Baltimore in 1964, during the company’s early days. Two years later, he became a UPS manager and climbed the corporate ladder, joining the company’s board of directors and becoming senior vice president of operations, the position from which he retired in 1998.
Tyler encouraged the audience to act out of concern for others.
“Every person can do something, and supporting the Tyler scholars is our something,” he said. “When we read the letters of appreciation from the scholarship recipients, and when we come here in May and watch our scholars walk across that stage with their degrees, there is no better feeling in the world.…”
“There is no greater satisfaction in life than reaching back and helping others,” he continued. “…Young people who receive an education here at Morgan State are the future leaders of this city, of this state and of this country.”
Morgan State University, founded in 1867, is celebrating its 150th year of excellence in higher education. A Carnegie-classified doctoral research institution, Morgan offers more than 100 academic programs leading to degrees from the baccalaureate to the doctorate. As Maryland’s designated Public Urban Research University, Morgan serves a multiethnic and multiracial student body and seeks to ensure that the doors of higher education are opened as wide as possible to as many as possible. For more information about Morgan State University, visit www.morgan.edu.
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Larry Jones, Morgan State University