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Grand Occasion, Fitting Tribute

With a snip of over-sized ceremonial scissors on Aug. 1, 2017, ASU officially opened the Hunter Strain Engineering Labs on the east side of campus.

Archival Photo of Hunter StrainThe ribbon cutting ceremony took place in front of a standing-room-only crowd of ASU administrators, faculty, staff and students, alumni, major donors, local business leaders, members of the Strain family and other friends of ASU. The new facility is named for the late Hunter Strain, whose construction company built and/or surfaced highways and other roadways throughout West Texas.

This building is aptly named for a pioneering engineer of West Texas,” said Dr. William Kitch, chair of ASU’s David L. Hirschfeld Department of Engineering. “His legacy will now go well beyond the roads that many don’t realize he built. It’s going to live on here at Angelo State, because engineering is here to stay.”

Mary Louise Strain cuts the grand opening ribbonThe actual cutting of the ribbon was administered enthusiastically by Mary Louise Strain, whose late husband’s name will forever be memorialized on the $4.5 million, 8,500-square-foot facility.

“This is such a wonderful tribute to my wonderful husband,” Mary Louise said. “It thrills my heart and fills it with joy. He would be so flattered, and I’m so happy for all the students that will be able to take advantage of this wonderful engineering program here at Angelo State University.”

ASU’s engineering program admitted its first students in the fall of 2015 with Kitch the only faculty. It has since grown to include more than 130 students, seven full-time faculty and two staff members. They can now move from temporary lab facilities in the Vincent Nursing-Physical Science Building and take advantage of the state-of-the-art new Hunter Strain Engineering Labs.

Hunter Strain Engineering Lab“This facility takes us to a new level,” said ASU President Brian J. May. “We did it for West Texas and we did it for the students here at Angelo State because we care. It really makes us a different school, to have engineering. Hunter Strain loved San Angelo, and he put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into the highways here in West Texas. This facility is a terrific tribute to him and his family.”

This is now the center of engineering at ASU.

Dr. William Kitch

“I’m ecstatic,” Kitch added. “This facility is essential for us to build our program. It’s an excellent facility, both in what it provides for our program and in the aesthetics that make it a pleasant place to be. This is now the center of engineering at ASU.”