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The face behind the name:

Ray B. West Building

staff writer

Published: Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Updated: Wednesday, February 5, 2014 23:02

Ray B. West Building

Mikayla Kapp

Ray B. West Building

Ray B. West, Jr. portrait

Ryan Costanzo

Ray B. West, Jr. portrait

Located on the south side of the Quad and adjacent to Old Main, the Ray B. West building is the place students go for help with English. However, few people are aware of who Ray B. West actually was or why his namesake was chosen for the building that now houses the English department.

According to the English department’s website, the building was first used as a military training center, and it was not turned over to the school until 1920 when students of the newly-formed engineering department used it as a laboratory under the supervision of Ray Benedict West. West was the founder of the College of Engineering. The building did not receive its name until 1986, and by this time there was another Ray B. West at USU.

Ray Benedict West Jr. worked as an English professor, published many of his own books and edited a literary magazine named The Western Review. Many of his works can be found in the Merrill-Cazier Library archives today.

Although the building was not originally named for Ray B. West Jr., he is accepted as a part of the West legacy, and his name gives a literary connection to the building that now houses mostly English students. His photograph hangs on the second floor.

– brifield@live.com

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