The Right Chemistry

It wasn’t exactly a groundbreaking, since work on Puget Sound’s science building began in early January, but at dedication ceremonies on February 18 the university announced its new 51,000-square-foot teaching and laboratory structure will be called Harned Hall in honor of H.C. “Joe” Harned ’51.

“I was born in 1917 and my family didn’t have much in those days,” said Harned. “But I always had a desire to improve my own existence. Thanks to the education I earned at the University of Puget Sound, as well as a good dose of frugality and determination, I’m pleased to be able to give back to the school. I look forward to having many future doctors, nurses, and researchers pass through the building on their way to making positive changes in the world.”

“Joe Harned’s commitment to the university, especially to scholarship students and the new Science Center, has a tremendous impact on the quality of the educational experience that the University of Puget Sound provides,” said President Thomas. “Joe’s gift to name Harned Hall is the largest single gift to Puget Sound ever for a building project, and it is fitting that it supports the largest building project in this university’s 116-year history. It’s a magnificent gift. The university is honored to be among the institutions that Mr. Harned has so generously supported,” he concluded.

Harned, who earned a business degree from Puget Sound, has had a long and successful career as a real estate developer. His hundreds of projects include Azalea Gardens, an active senior community in Graham; development of Tacoma’s 85,000-square-foot Lincoln Plaza and the former General Cinema’s Lincoln Plaza Cinema; and development of Carlyle Court, a community of mostly low-income housing in Lakewood. He played a key role in bringing Costco to Tacoma in 1984 and assisted with the store’s two relocations.

Construction of Harned Hall and an adjoining courtyard constitutes Phase I of the university’s Science Center project. Phase 1 will cost $25.5 million. It is due to open in autumn 2006. Later phases will include the renovation of Thompson Hall, the school’s current science building, and will bring the total cost of the project to an estimated $50 million.

To date, more than 600 alumni, parents, faculty, staff members, and friends have donated nearly $16 million for the project. The university must raise an additional $1.6 million by the end of 2005 to qualify for a $750,000 Kresge Foundation challenge grant.