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Wednesday, February 8, 2023

194 Chemistry to be renamed Peter A. Rock Hall

In Fall 2012, 194 Chemistry building will no longer be Chem 194. Instead, the building has been renamed Peter A. Rock Hall.

Beginning Fall 2012, Peter A. Rock Hall, or Rock Hall for short, will be the new name for 194 Chemistry, named after Peter Rock, the founding dean of the Division of Mathematical and Physical Sciences for eight years before retiring in 2003. Rock had worked at UC Davis since 1964. Three years later, on June 14, 2006 he passed away and now, six years later, 194 Chemistry will be renamed in his honor.

“He’s my predecessor and he [was] very passionate about the quality of teaching — and as you know, Chemistry 2 is really fundamental to many and the quality affects the campus as a whole. And not only that, he felt passionate about it. He also taught a lot himself and his textbook in general chemistry, which he wrote with Professor McQuarrie, is a pretty well-known textbook, so we thought that we should honor him,” said current Dean of Mathematical and Physical Sciences Winston Ko.

The Division of Mathematical and Physical Sciences is under the College of Letters and Science — which is celebrating its 60-year anniversary this year. Ko feels that renaming 194 Chemistry in Rock’s memory is very fitting during the 60-year anniversary of the College of Letters and Science.

In order to have a building named after someone, it is a requisite that the person have been deceased for at least two years and the chancellor makes the renaming proposal to the president that comes from the department dean, according to Ko.

Ko said the chemistry chair made the case to rename the building and then he proposed it to the naming committee.

Neurobiology, physiology and behavior junior transfer student Lillian Ghaly said she didn’t see any problem with the name change.

“I don’t think it makes a difference. I mean maybe at first it’ll be like ‘Oh, it’s not Chem 194 anymore,’ but I mean there’s no meaning for the name Chem 194 to me,” said Ghaly.

Although the sign in front of the building still says “194 Chemistry”, in the Course Registration Guide for Fall 2012 “CHEM” no longer exists since it was replaced with “ROCK”. According to Ko, changing the signage will cost approximately $1,000 and will happen during the same time of the convocation in September.

“I have a great respect of Dean Rock. He is my predecessor and I think he made a great contribution to the campus in terms of both teaching and the research and bringing up the quality of mathematical and physical sciences. As the dean of Mathematical and Physical Sciences I really have a great respect of what he did for the campus, so I’m very excited,” said Ko.

LILIANA NAVA OCHOA can be reached at campus@theaggie.org.