House in new residence hall honors the late Barbara Mack

CATEGORIES: Faculty & Staff, News
Two of the 14 houses in the new Geoffroy residence hall honor former faculty members Barbara Mack and Dan Robinson. (Christopher Gannon/Iowa State University)

Alumni and friends of the Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication may notice a familiar name posted on the newly constructed eight-story Geoffroy residence hall located south of Lincoln Way and east of Buchanan Hall.

One of the residence hall’s 14 house signs looks like the front page of a newspaper and contains a big, bold headline in black and white: “Mack!”. The house for female residents on the east side of the third floor is named after the late [Barbara Mack](, a Greenlee School associate professor who died in 2012.

Mack was one of five individuals chosen for the honor by the residence department’s leadership team. The remaining nine were chosen by a task force of residence staff and Inter-Residence Hall Association (IRHA) students. All are notable Iowa State University faculty, staff or alumni.

Barbara Mack
Brittney Rutherford, marketing coordinator for the Department of Residence and ISU Dining, served on the leadership team that selected Mack. As a 2006 graduate who majored in journalism and mass communication, Rutherford also happened to be one of Mack’s students and drew from her own experience when advocating for Mack. She noted that Mack’s accomplishments and ability to connect with students both inside and outside of the classroom made her an easy choice for a building that exists to serve students.

“A lot of us had personal relationships with Barbara Mack, knew her work or knew how influential she was to students and the university itself. We really wanted her on there because of her outstanding relationships with students and the way she was beloved by all,” Rutherford said.

The sign’s design represents Mack’s career in journalism as a reporter, lawyer and educator. The year “1974” signifies the year Mack earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism from Iowa State University and the “Master Teacher Award Winner” headline acknowledges the teaching honor she received from the university in 2000.

Rutherford hopes Mack’s legacy will live on at the new Geoffroy Hall.

“It was the things she taught you about life [that made her special] … how to represent yourself, how to carry yourself. She was tough but she was fair,” Rutherford said.

The new residence hall is scheduled to open in Spring 2017. It contains double-occupancy rooms and can house up to 784 students.

Read more about Geoffroy Hall and how the 14 house names were chosen.