St. Mary’s College dedicates ‘green’ Goodpaster Hall

Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2007

Click here to enlarge this photo
Staff Photo by Jesse Yeatman
Sarah Nesnow, granddaughter of Andrew J. Goodpaster, speaks Saturday at the dedication ceremony for the new St. Mary’s College of Maryland building named in his honor.

He was an academic, soldier and presidential adviser, and Andrew J. Goodpaster’s name now adorns St. Mary’s College of Maryland’s newest classroom building.

Goodpaster was a two-term trustee for the college and often visited.

A display in the atrium of Goodpaster Hall, which was formally dedicated Saturday, focuses on the life of the retired four-star general.

The campus hopes to bring his and others’ legacies to life through exhibits called ‘‘HeritageScapes,” in its new buildings.

‘‘He did know about this building before he passed away,” said Sara Nesnow, Goodpaster’s granddaughter and a St. Mary’s College graduate, during Saturday’s dedication ceremony.

She said that Goodpaster, who died in 2005, kept two residences, one in Washington, D.C., and the other near Swan Point in Charles County.

‘‘It was so amazing to me to think somebody else had recognized how wonderful he was,” Nesnow said.

Brent Scowcroft, a friend and colleague of Goodpaster’s, served as assistant to the president for National Security Affairs to presidents Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush. The retired lieutenant general spoke about Goodpaster’s life, including his leadership and heroism.

‘‘Andy Goodpaster was both my hero and my mentor,” Scowcroft said. He said they were ‘‘kindred spirits in the joy of knowledge.”

After graduating second in his class from West Point, by age 29 Goodpaster had commanded an Army battalion in Italy during World War II. He earned two Purple Hearts during the war and the Army’s second highest decoration, the Distinguished Service Cross, for reconnoitering under heavy fire across a minefield.

He later served in the White House as staff secretary to President Dwight D. Eisenhower, the start of an advisory role to presidents that would last for decades. Goodpaster was also the supreme allied commander in Europe for NATO.

‘‘He was a trailblazer in what we would later call defense intellectuals,” Scowcroft said. ‘‘[Presidents] listened when Andy would talk.”

After retiring, he went back to West Point in 1977 as superintendent to help clean up the climate of the academy in the wake of a cheating scandal.

Nesnow interviewed her grandfather in his later years. She hopes to transcribe some of those conversations and along with Goodpaster’s famed dinner table stories, compile a book about him.

Goodpaster Hall is the college’s first all-green building, said Larry Hartwick, capital projects manager for the college.

Built by Coakley & Williams Construction out of Gaithersburg, it has a 75-seat lecture hall and state-of-the-art laboratories. It houses 10 classrooms plus three computer classrooms and will be used by the psychology, chemistry and educational studies departments.

The 57,300-square-foot facility was a pilot project approved by the state for extra costs related to green building.

‘‘It’s just so invigorating to se the kind of work you are doing here,” said Alvin Collins, Maryland secretary of general services and a member of the state’s green building council. ‘‘We hope green building technology will become the core mission of what we do.”

The building features enhanced stormwater runoff system and will use about 30 percent less energy and 30 percent less water thanks to innovations such as using available daylight and reusing sink water as toilet water.

About 50 percent of the construction material is from recycled materials and as much as 80 percent of the construction waste was recycled.

The green aspects of the Goodpaster building will cost about 1.5 percent more of the total construction costs; however, that money will be recouped in four years through savings in operation expenses, Hartwick said.

The college is submitting documentation to achieve a silver rating from the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, the third-highest in a four-level rating system.

Goodpaster, which will be fully occupied during the spring semester, connects to Schaefer Hall. All new St. Mary’s College buildings from now on will be built as green buildings, utilizing environmentally friendly aspects, according to college staff.

E-mail Jesse Yeatman at