NAME CHANGER Signage and Ceremony Make the Krone Engineered Biosystems Building Official
The naming celebration for the Roger A. and Helen B. Krone Engineered Biosystems Building took place the morning of October 21 – a clear, cool autumn day, just perfect for the Homecoming football game to take place later in the day. In his remarks to the crowd that gathered to mark the occasion, Roger Krone, AE 1978, quoted the late American philosopher and psychologist William James, who said: “The great use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.”
He recalled his days as a student, loaded down with books, trudging past buildings named for people whose philanthropy had outlasted them — only he wasn’t aware of it at the time.
“I did not realize the contributions these individuals made to my education, nor did I fully appreciate how privileged I was to receive an education at all, or the many ways in which that experience would enrich my life in the years that followed,” he said.
After the Engineered Biosystems Building opened in 2015, the Krones took a tour and were impressed by the design — organized around research neighborhoods and optimized for collaboration — and their gift was inspired by the lifechanging, life-saving research and innovation taking place there.
Their naming gift comes from the Krone Foundation, which the family set up in 2006, and for which Helen serves as secretary, treasurer, and financial manager. The Krones’ son David and his wife, Susie, their daughter, Lauren, and son Michael, also at the ceremony, serve on the Krone Foundation’s Board of Directors.
The Krones also made an estate gift in 2015 for faculty support in the Daniel Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering — pushing the school past its goal in the final months of Campaign Georgia Tech — and have contributed to Roll Call for 43 consecutive years.
At the ceremony, Georgia Tech President G.P. “Bud” Peterson recognized the Krones for their extraordinary generosity and welcomed them into The Hill Society, which honors and celebrates principal philanthropists to the Institute.
“As beautiful as the building is,” Peterson said, “it is the people who make the difference — the people who invest their life’s work here, and the people who believe in the work, share the vision, and give so generously to make it possible.”
“For my family,” Krone said, “today is about returning the gift of opportunity that this community and educational institution has given us. It is our hope that through this support, we can help contribute to science as well as to the health and well-being of our society, so that others may prosper.”
The $113 million, 219,000-squarefeet Krone Engineered Biosystems Building is the most expensive facility ever built on the Georgia Tech campus. Funded in part by the State of Georgia, $34 million in private funds were critical for the project to move forward.
The Krone Engineered Biosystems Building is the first structure in a three-building complex envisioned for the area. When built, the other two facilities, currently referred to as EBB2 and EBB3, will leverage the core capabilities of the Krone Building and also create space for more interdisciplinary research neighborhoods. This expansion will grow Georgia Tech’s footprint in health-related science and engineering, and further boost Atlanta’s and Georgia’s ascendency in the biotech realm.