IV:06:04 Naming Buildings and Facilities and Building Plaques


A. General Statement

Pursuant to Tennessee Board of Regents (Board) Policy 4:02:05:01 Naming Buildings and Facilities and Building Plaques, the prerogative and privilege of naming buildings, facilities, grounds, and organizational units are vested in the Board. Authority to name identifiable sub-units or components of buildings and facilities, however, is delegated to the University President, subject to the Board policy and the criteria and process set forth therein.

The University will follow the Board policy and the following guidelines for determining recommendations for naming all University buildings and other facilities, grounds, and organizational units. Facilities for the purpose of this policy include any building, components of and areas within a building, outdoor space, or other identifiable physical feature of the University.

B. Process

The President shall designate a committee to consider and make recommendations for naming purposes. The committee shall be comprised of student, faculty, administrative representatives and other representatives of the campus community as deemed appropriate by the President.

The committee shall consider all suggested naming which satisfies the Board policy and criteria set forth herein. Any individual or group associated with the University may suggest a name for consideration by the committee.

The committee shall submit a report to the President, which includes a recommendation for the naming, documentation of all suggestions considered, and justification of its recommendation.

For namings that require Board approval, the President shall submit a recommendation, along with the committee's report and any additional supporting information deemed appropriate, to the Board through the Chancellor.

No publicity shall be given to the recommendation for naming until the Board considers it. For namings not subject to Board approval, the President shall determine and make known the naming in the manner deemed most appropriate.

C. Criteria

1. General - Individuals and groups for whom buildings are named must have made a significant contribution to the field of education, government, science, or human betterment. To preserve the integrity of all buildings, this honor must be reserved for individuals of recognized accomplishment and character; no building may bear the name of an individual convicted of a felony. With respect to the naming of buildings, special consideration shall be given to:

a. The historical significance of the contribution of the individual or group to the University.

b. The association of the individual or group with the building to be named.

c. Any financial contribution of the individual or group to the University.

d. State, regional, national, or international recognition of the individual's or group's contributions and achievements.

2. Naming in honor of an individual (no gift involved)

a. A proposed honoree shall have achieved distinction while serving the University in an academic, administrative, or support capacity or have contributed in exceptional ways to the betterment of the University, State of Tennessee, or education in general.

b. Facilities ordinarily shall not be named for individuals currently employed by the University.

c. An individual usually shall not be considered for naming recognition within one year after the person's death.

3. Naming for a benefactor (gift involved)

a. A facility may be named for an individual or organization benefactor who makes a significant contribution toward the costs of initial construction or renovation of a building, component of a building, or other physical facility on campus.

b. As general guidelines, the following commitments are required for construction or renovation of a building or component of a building:

(1) New buildings. An amount no less than 25 percent of the cost of construction.

(2) Components of new buildings. An amount between 50 percent and 100 percent of the construction cost per square footage.

(3) Existing building. An amount no less than 25 percent of current construction costs.

(4) Components of existing buildings. An amount between 50 percent and 100 percent of current costs of construction per square footage.

4. It is intended that gifts to name facilities shall fund either the total construction cost of the facility or provide substantial funding for that portion of the total construction cost which would not be available from other sources, as determined on an individual basis.

5. An individual or organization donor making a substantial gift to the University or a specific college or unit, but a gift which is not designated for a new or existing building, may be recognized by the naming of a building, component of a building, or other campus facility. In this instance, the magnitude of the gift should be consistent with the general gift levels for naming facilities.

6. A given surname may be assigned to only one building.

7. In all cases, naming rights are considered to be in effect for the duration of the effective and typical useful life of the physical building, space or object, and not in perpetuity. If necessary, the University reserves the right to remove a name associated with any physical building, space, object, or project at any time if the naming gift pledge remains unfulfilled, or it is in the best interests of the University or of the donor to do so, or to protect the reputation of the University and/or the donor.


An endowment fund may be contributed and named for an individual or organization benefactor, or a specified honoree, to provide a permanent source of funding for restricted or unrestricted purposes as specified by the donor.

A. The following paragraphs provide general guidelines for named endowment categories and minimum funding requirements.

1. Endowed Faculty Support

                                                                                              Minimum Gift Required
Chair of Excellence                                                         $2,500,000-$10,000,000*
Chair                                                                                  $1,000,000-$ 2,500,000*
Distinguished Professorship                                                    $ 500,000
Professorship                                                                              $ 250,000
Visiting Scholar                                                                           $ 250,000
Faculty Award                                                                             $ 100,000
Lectureship                                                                                 $ 100,000

*Suggested minimums reflect a baseline for the university. Individual programs may vary due to unique market costs and the associated research and professional costs.

2. Endowed Student Support

a. Undergraduate

Centennial Scholar                                                                             $100,000
Athletic Position Scholarship                                                             $100,000
Academic and Leadership Performance Scholarship                 $ 50,000
Scholarship                                                                                          $ 25,000

b. Graduate

Assistantship                                                                                      $100,000
Fellowship                                                                                          $250,000

3. Named Colleges And Academic Units

Endowment gift requirements to name an entire college, school, or other prominent institutional program or unit will be determined on an individual basis, but the following will serve as guidelines.

a. Colleges                                                              Minimum Gift Required

Basic & Applied Science                                                  $20M*
Behavioral & Health Sciences                                         $15M*
Business                                                                                 n/a
Education                                                                            $10M*
Graduate Studies                                                              $10M*
Liberal Arts                                                                         $20M*
Honors                                                                                $10M*
Mass Communication                                                      $15M*
University College                                                            $10M*

b. Schools and Departments Minimum Gift Required

*It is suggested that at least 50% of the total gift should be used to establish an unrestricted endowment for the ongoing support of the academic unit being named.

4. Facilities

a. Offices                                                              Gift Level Required

Faculty Office                                                                 $10,000
Dean's Office                                                                  $50,000
Dean's Suite                                                                 $250,000

b. Classrooms Gift Level Required

Classroom                                                              $25,000-$50,000
Conference Room                                                $50,000-$100,000
Lecture Hall                                                         $100,000-$250,000
Theatre or Performance Hall                            $500,000-$1,000,000

B. Series, artist performance series, libraries, teacher/scholar awards, equipment, and building funds may be established by gifts at a recommended minimum level of $100,000.

C. The MTSU Foundation, Inc., generally receives and manages endowed funds for the benefit of the University and the specified purpose of the fund.

D. The minimum recommended endowment level is $25,000. An endowment fund may be established within a reasonable period (usually two to five years) agreed upon by the donor and the MTSU Foundation, Inc. A gift or pledge to establish an endowed fund shall be accompanied by a formal, signed document detailing the endowment agreement.

E. Academic or program units, in consultation with University Development, may offer special endowment naming opportunities at appropriate levels of funding, provided the opportunities are consistent with the general guidelines herein.

F. Minimum funding requirements for named endowments will be reviewed periodically to ensure that the endowment amount provides an annual distribution consistent with university program requirements and economic conditions.


Upon approval of the naming by the Board, an appropriate dedication ceremony may be planned and conducted by the University.

The University also may erect a dedication plaque or comparable marking upon approval of the naming by the Board. The plaque may be separate from the building plaque provided by State regulations. In addition to the individual or group for whom the building is named, the dedication plaque should identify the University President, the Chancellor, and the Chairman of the Board at the time the naming was approved.

All building plaques must comply with Board policy and guidelines and State Building Commission policy on building plaques. This section shall apply to any new or newly renovated building or facility.

Revisions: August 24, 2004; July 22, 2011; November 1, 2011.

Cross-references: TBR Policy 4:02:05:01 Naming Buildings and Facilities and Building Plaques.