New Science Building To Be ‘Shelby and Willena Peeples Hall’

Wednesday, April 09, 2014
Willena and Shelby Peeples
Willena and Shelby Peeples

In honor and recognition of their longstanding and loyal support of Dalton State College, the new science building currently under construction on campus will be named Shelby and Willena Peeples Hall, President Dr. John O. Schwenn has announced.

Pursuant to University System of Georgia policy, College officials petitioned the USG Board of Regents to approve the name, and the Board granted the College’s request in January.

Dr. Schwenn said the honor is appropriate recognition of the Peeples’ philanthropy at Dalton State, including the family’s commitment of the largest gift from an individual in the history of the College. The 58,000-square-foot Peeples Hall, which houses chemistry and biology laboratories and classrooms for Dalton State’s School of Science, Technology, and Mathematics, will be dedicated in a public ceremony on May 7 at 2 p.

m. A community-wide open house will be held on May 18.

“We made this gift in support of the College’s newest academic building several years ago because we believe education is the most important thing for a community,” Shelby Peeples said. “We believe that Dalton State is a key component to our community’s future. This College will do more to advance our community than anything else, and we wanted to help in this way.”

“Shelby and Willena Peeples and the entire Peeples family have a tradition of extensive philanthropy in our community,” said David Elrod, director of the Dalton State Foundation, where the Peeples’ gift will reside for the benefit of the College. “Their extraordinary act of generosity with this leadership gift to Dalton State Foundation’s endowment is for current and future generations of Dalton State students, faculty, and academic programs. Having the Peeples name on Dalton State’s newest academic building is simultaneously a public show of support for the College and an expression by the College of our gratitude for the family’s singular generosity.”

In addition to the major gift for the science building, the Peeples have given the College the Baldwin concert grand piano that sits in Goodroe Auditorium and were among the earliest donors in the late 1990s to the Foundation’s James & Sis Brown Fellowship.

“Throughout the past several years, the Peeples family has demonstrated many other acts of generosity and kindness toward Dalton State, and they are regular attendees and participants at campus events,” Dr. Schwenn said. “Their involvement with and support for the College have enriched the institution far beyond the dollars they have given. We are grateful for their advocacy for Dalton State and for their willingness to share the good news about the many exciting things going on around campus.” 

Shelby and Willena (Davis) Peeples are natives of Whitfield County and began attending school together in the first grade. They became high school sweethearts and were married just after graduation in 1953. Married more than 60 years, they have four children, nine grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.

Shelby Peeples is a businessman and entrepreneur with substantial interests in real estate, banking, carpet manufacturing, and chemical production. Willena Peeples has devoted her life to raising her family and, in the words of one of her sons, “is the glue that holds us all together.”

The $15-million building will provide classroom and laboratory space for biology and chemistry departments, which represent two of the fastest growing majors at the College. According to Dr. Randall Griffus, dean of the School of Science, Technology, and Mathematics, the soaring brick and glass building will double the number of biology and chemistry labs previously available to students and will include dedicated lab space for undergraduate student research.

“Having undergraduate student research experience is a huge plus for our students applying to medical, dental, or graduate school,” said Dr. Griffus, who added that research gives students the opportunity to apply theoretical knowledge to real world situations. Within the research space, he noted, will be an “assurance colony” repository for endangered species of freshwater turtles, part of an ongoing project between Dalton State and the Chattanooga Aquarium.

Peeples Hall, the largest single building on the Dalton State campus, was designed by the Atlanta architectural firm Lord Aeck Sargent with assistance from Gregg Sims of Dalton. New South Construction was the general contractor for the building. The College will begin occupying the building during late spring and summer semesters, and the building will be fully operational when fall semester classes begin.

The north facade of Peeples Hall features soaring glass windows that characterize Dalton State’s newest academic building which will house science classrooms and laboratories.
The north facade of Peeples Hall features soaring glass windows that characterize Dalton State’s newest academic building which will house science classrooms and laboratories.

Southeast Bank Makes Contribution To CSCC

Southeast Bank provided a charitable contribution to Cleveland State Community College in the amount of $3,000 to go toward the awarding of annual scholarships to students.   (click for more)

Share America Foundation Supports Catoosa County Teen Maze

The Share America Foundation, Inc. donated $400 to the Catoosa County Teen Maze coming up at the Catoosa Colonnade  Oct. 6-9 .   The learning experience is produced as a cooperative effort of several agencies through the Catoosa Prevention Initiative serving sophomores of Catoosa, Walker and Dade counties.   “The event allows participants to examine the ... (click for more)

Woman Stabbed Multiple Times On Cleveland Avenue Early Thursday Morning

A woman was stabbed multiple times early Thursday morning. At approximately 3 a.m., Chattanooga Police responded to 2104 Cleveland Ave. for a stabbing. Officers located a black female in the roadway suffering from multiple stab wounds. The victim was transported to a local hospital by HCEMS for her injuries and is in stable condition. Investigators have not been able to ... (click for more)

City Council Taking Applications From Those Interested In Serving On City IDB

The City Council is taking applications from those interested in serving on the city industrial Development Board (IDB).   There are four vacancies on the board that has been in the news for its controversial approval and re-approval of $9 million in Tax Increment Financing (TIF) for developers of Aetna Mountain. Resumes are due by Sept. 29.   ... (click for more)

Walking Among Memories, The USS LST-325

I have walked among the head stones at Flanders Fields and have seen the entrenchment of soldiers with only bayonet tips sticking out of the earth. Later I traveled to Normandy where I stood on the sand and made scuff marks with my shoes on Omaha Beach and climbed the hill to the magnificent American Cemetery there. I again walked among the many, many tomb stones so neatly and ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My Aunt Martha

During my first year at Ole Miss, I was so distracted by the stunning coeds on campus that I paid too much attention to the wrong kind of figures. I ended up flubbing a math class, which at the time was most serious and potentially deadly for an American boy. It meant I didn't have enough credit hours to avoid the draft and in almost no time I got a red, gut-retching postcard that ... (click for more)