A focal point of Emory & Henry academic life is McGlothlin-Street Hall. The largest portion of this 70,000-square-foot academic center was completed in the fall of 2000. The new construction provides new classroom and laboratory space for the biology, environmental science, chemistry and psychology departments. McGlothlin-Street Hall also comprises 24,000 square feet of existing space, once known as the Foye Goodner Gibson Science Hall, which houses the departments of business, economics, education, geography and international studies.
Construction of McGlothlin-Street Hall was made possible in large part by a generous gift from The United Company of Bristol, Va. Principal officers of the company are chairman and CEO James McGlothlin and board member and company secretary Nicholas Street. Woodrow McGlothlin, a member of the E&H class of 1937, is a former United Company shareholder.
McGlothlin-Street Hall is a high-tech academic center with up-to-date classrooms and laboratories. The facility includes a three-story portico, a large open entrance hall and comfortable, modern lecture halls. Large glass windows at the front of the building offer expansive views of the central campus, and informal sitting areas toward the back of the facility are surrounded by windows that provide breath-taking views of the college golf course and Whitetop Mountain.
The older portion of the building, Gibson Hall, carries the name of Emory & Henry’s 13th president (1941–56). An arch above Gibson Hall’s back door bears the inscription “Wm. Morrow Science Hall.” The arch was taken from Emory & Henry’s first science building (and the region’s first science facility) which stood on the campus from 1888 to 1955. It was named for a prominent Nashville, Tenn., physician who generously supported the college.
A main goal of the new McGlothlin-Street Hall is to continue Emory & Henry’s long tradition for scientific excellence. Among the college’s alumni are Edward C. Huffaker (class of 1880), who joined Orville and Wilbur Wright in their flight experiments near Kitty Hawk, N.C., and Robert Humphreys (class of 1889), who, as a researcher for Standard Oil, developed the thermal method of cracking petroleum hydrocarbons to produce gasoline. Emory & Henry alumni also have been an important part of the research and experimentation that have helped launch Americans into space. More than 25 alumni were among the group of NASA scientists who helped send Alan Shepherd into space in 1961, and many alumni have been at work since then with the agency.