What an exciting day for the Randolph-Macon family! I am honored to share with you
today about how appropriate it is for this prestigious building to be named after
Ira Andrews who is a friend and mentor to so many students and alumni.
The past year we have watched the construction of the building with great excitement
as it is a visible marker of the growth of Randolph-Macon College. I am grateful
that I had the opportunity to help construct the Ira Andrews Residence Hall as I
was worked for the General Contractor, English Construction. As I was still in school,
I was trading a hard hat for a book bag between work and classes all last year.
To be honest, I think I needed the hard hat for my classes more than I did on the
jobsite. Anyway, while I worked on the building, I continually gave updates to Ira
Andrews on the status of the building. During my time at R-MC as a Baily Scholar,
Ira Andrews was a mentor and friend to me and many others. I just want to take these
next few minutes to say to you, Ira Andrews, that the Randolph-Macon family is so
privileged to have you be a part of the community and to have this structure named
the Ira L Andrews Residence Hall.
Just as Ira Andrews is an example of what it means to be a yellow jacket that is
connected to others and to the world around us, this building signifies that Randolph-Macon
College is focused on the community and the environment. If you did not already
know, this building is seeking LEED certification to show the dedication that R-MC
has to the environment. I was a part of the LEED administration team, and you should
know that a lot of hard work went into making sure that this building was as ‘green’
as possible. Many of you have seen the solar panels and the other intentional ‘green’
components of this building, but you have no idea or don’t care what LEED certification
means. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, and is an
internationally-recognized green building certification system. For today’s purposes,
I want to change the acronym LEED to something that we can better understand and
relate to the building. This building is an example to world about responsible living,
and so is the man for whom the building is named after. LEED will stand for four
qualities are exemplified in the life of Ira Andrews and consequentially in this
I am pretty certain that Ira is somewhat embarrassed by this attention that is being
given to him as he is a humble man who seeks to lift others up. Let us learn from
Ira’s example and lifestyle how to better contribute to our R-MC family and to the
greater community. The L in LEED is for Leadership. Ira’s Leadership style is one
of servant leadership. He leads by example. As Ira is a man of faith, he guides
others to care for the needs of others instead of focusing on our own wants. Ira
Andrews has been a leader and friend to show many former and current students of
R-MC, and this building will continue his legacy of leadership by example.
The first E in LEED stands for Education. Ira was and continues to be a great teacher.
He truly believes in the importance of education and has dedicated most of his life
to the education of young people here at R-MC. As a religious studies major, I must
say disappointed that I was never able to take a class taught by Professor Andrews,
but I was blessed to have listened to Ira lead devotionals at the Bailey Scholarship
dinners. Thank you, Ira, for inspiring me and so many others to pursue knowledge
and wisdom. This building properly reflects the passion that Ira Andrews had for
education as it is a great space for learning as it has study rooms and comfortable
The second E in LEED will stand for Encouragement. Ira Andrews is an encourager.
He has a humble spirit that seeks to lift others up.
He always offered a word of encouragement to me and other students to help them
get through the difficulties of school and life. Ira Andrews is everyone’s biggest
supporter. Let this building, named after Ira Andrews, be an encouragement to this
college and community to believe in and support one another.
This brings us to the letter D in LEED which represents Dedication. In a world of
change, dedication is an attribute that is hard to find. Ira Andrews is a dedicated
man to his family, friends, students, church, and alma mater. He has been a part
of the R-MC family for over 50 years where he served as a professor and dean of
students. In my experiences with Ira, he showed great dedication to helping me and
other students to reach our goals in life. This building exemplifies the dedication
that Ira Andrews and Randolph-Macon College has towards its students, the community,
and the environment.
Years from now this building and the legacy of Ira Andrews will continue to stand
and be an example to the Randolph-Macon College family of Leadership, Education,
Encouragement, and Dedication. I hope that we can follow Ira Andrew’s LEED, no pun
intended, and continue to pursue a life of education that enables us to focus on
Please join me in thanking Ira Andrews for who he is and for all that he has done
for Randolph-Macon College. Thank you.