Gallogly Hall trailblazing on OU's campus as a Biomedical Engineering facility

Kyle Phillips / The Transcript

Gallogly Hall, situated on the Engineering Quad between Felgar Hall and the ExxonMobil Lawrence G. Rawl Engineering Practice Facility, is officially open. The 70,000 square-foot building will serve students from the Stephenson School of Biomedical Engineering and the Gallogly College of Engineering. According to the University of Oklahoma website, the second floor of the facility will be geared toward bench chemistry, biology and undergraduate biomedical labs benefiting undergraduate students throughout the University taking chemistry through the College of Arts and Sciences.

Advanced Biomedical Engineering just a got a new look on the University of Oklahoma's campus.

University officials cut the ribbon and dedicated Gallogly Hall Friday during a ceremony on Felgar Street. Many crowded around the building in the beaming sun to see the unveiling and hear of the building's story from Interim President Joseph Harroz Jr., Gallogly College of Engineering Interim Dean John Antonio, former Gallogly College of Engineering Dean Tom Landers, and Gallogly College of Engineering graduate Paige Welch.

"This is a historic day. This is a day worth basking in the sun of the university and being apart of this," Harroz said. "You can tell by the symbols here and the substance inside, that what's inside of here understands what it means to be a great university."

Two years ago near the same location, the university and former OU president Jim and Janet Gallogly broke ground for construction of Gallogly Hall. Donations from the Galloglys and 186 corporate and individual donors helped make construction at Gallogly Hall possible.

The real impacts of buildings, programs and the people who work, do research and study in these buildings are not truly captured by statistics and metrics, Antonio said. The impact is more aptly told and captured by individual stories, discoveries and though the development of new life saving treatments.

Welch, who spoke at the groundbreaking as a sophomore, returned Friday as a graduate. She is currently pursuing her master's degree in biomedical engineering, and continuing her research on the auditory system using biomechanics and computer modeling to address issues that have implications for those with hearing disorders.

"Research, as I'm sure many of you know, is a long process that is often full of setbacks, which can be discouraging at times," she said. "However, during those times I recall memories of walking past the construction site of Gallogly Hall as an underclassman, and being reminded that success and achievement does not occur overnight, but is built steadily day by day and brick by brick."

Now Gallaogly Hall provides a place for researchers to gather and to develop new ideas and solutions for the health care industry and beyond, Welch said. It provides a place where students of all backgrounds can come together to learn and be encouraged and mentored on their journey to an engineering degree, she said.

"This idea is taking multiple disciplines and bringing them together and impacting lives directly, taking technologies to improve lives," Harroz said. "Every one of us here knows someone who's life changed for the better because of the Stephenson Cancer Center."

The building is 75,000 square feet on four floors, and is used by students and researchers developing imaging tools for early cancer detection, nanotechnology and fusion protein cancer treatments and research partnerships with the OU Medicine Stephenson Cancer Center. Additionally within biomedical engineering, researchers, faculty and students will focus their research on diabetes prevention and treatment, biomechanics, biotechnology and more.

"The Gallogly College of Engineering has had graduate programs in biomedical engineering for over two decades, but it was not until August of 2017, with the establishment of the Stephenson School of Biomedical Engineering, that students could pursue an undergraduate in biomedical engineering degree at OU," Antonio said.

Biomedical engineering is the sixth largest undergraduate program in the Gallogly College out of 13 undergraduate programs.

"Also housed in Gallogly Hall is our wonderful Diversity and Inclusion program. We have reached 33% underrepresented minority students and 25% women in the Gallogly College of Engineering," Antonio said. "The Stephenson School of Biomedical Engineering also has an equal number of men and women enrolled."

After the ribbon was cut, attendees filed into Gallogly Hall for a reception and students provided tours for the Gallogly Hall's Stephenson School of Biomedical Engineering, Gallogly College of Engineering Diversity and Inclusion office, 12 classrooms, labs, lecture hall and collaborative learning spaces.

More information can be found at www.ou.edu/coe/galloglyhall.