The Meridian Community College Board of Trustees is honoring former president emeritus William F. "Bill" Scaggs by renaming Ivy Hall to Ivy-Scaggs Hall.
The new name pays tribute to the founding father of MCC, H.M. Ivy, and the first president, Scaggs, who served 35 years in leading the institution, the college announce Monday night.
Scaggs died on July 14 at age 84.
Scaggs began working at the college in 1963 as registrar before becoming the school's dean, a position he held from 1964 to 1967 and then serving as president from 1967 to 1998. Upon his retirement, he was named president emeritus by the board of trustees and by his successor, Scott Elliott.
Scaggs' leadership was fundamental in establishing what Meridian Community College is today, current President Thomas Huebner said.
"That his name will be on the building that serves as the front door for this college is very meaningful because his vision opened doors for, literally, thousands," Huebner said in a statement. "While we will miss Dr. Scaggs, we are forever grateful for his lasting impact on this community and the people who have passed through MCC."
Scaggs' son William "Skip" Scaggs said his family appreciated the MCC board's gesture.
"Meridian Community College was in most part, the brainchild of Meridian Public School Superintendent Horace Ivy, and I think Dr. Ivy would welcome Dad in sharing the honor," Scaggs said in a statement. "Dad, on the other hand, would likely shrug at the thought and not be too concerned with it."
Skip Scaggs said his father believed that the heart of the college was not in the name of the building but instead in the instructors' dedication, staff, and students on the inside.
"Creating and cultivating that culture of nurturing instructors created a hallmark by which the college grew under his time here," Scaggs said in a statement. "As a family, we are thankful for his life and the lessons he lived out for us as well as our extended college family."
With its distinctive tiled mosaic, Ivy Hall is iconic to MCC, Scaggs said.
"Take a picture of any other college administrative building in the state, and you may have to guess where it is located, not Ivy Hall," Scaggs said. "Dad loved the tile murals on the front. He loved that they were designed by then art instructor Homer Casteel and they debated on the order of the panels in seeing them left to right or right to left."
A dedication ceremony will be planned for the near future, according to the college.