The Goodding Learning Center, located in 280 Plant Sciences Hall on East Campus, was rededicated Jan. 15. Steve Waller, College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources dean, Roch Gaussoin, Department of Agronomy and Horticulture department head, and Rich Goodding, grandson of Dr. Thomas H. Goodding, provided comments. Members of the Thomas H. Goodding family were introduced.
The Thomas H. Goodding Learning Center was first dedicated to the Department of Agronomy in 1982 with a generous donation from the family. Goodding received his bachelor's degree in agronomy in 1916, the first of 16 members from four generations of the Goodding family to graduate from the University of Nebraska. He also served on the university faculty for 38 years.
According to Waller, the Department of Agronomy and Horticulture has always been known for its excellent teaching with every student nurtured by the guiding philosophy and legacy left by Dr. Goodding. Waller commented that active learning spaces such as this, are considered to be the front doors to student education. Resources from the Goodding family legacy and student technology fees were used to significantly upgrade the room. CASNR provided the student-generated technology fees. “So current students are investing in the education of future students,” Waller said.
Rich Goodding, former staff member and longtime employee of the department, shared that his grandmother, Laura “Birdie” Bird Goodding, was very involved with faculty women on campus during her lifetime. Gifted with a sense of hospitality, she and Dr. Goodding spent a lot of time hosting students in their home. Students who came to campus in the 1920s and 1930s didn’t have much money, or rarely cars, and were most likely to stay on campus from fall to spring with maybe a trip home for Christmas. Consequently faculty spent a lot of time with their students. Gatherings for apples and popcorn were regularly scheduled events at the Goodding home. After Dr. Goodding died, Mrs. Goodding honored him with a generous gift to the department for the Goodding Learning Center.
Thanks to Laura Bird Goodding and Thomas H. Goodding, the Goodding Learning Center has effectively been utilized as a learning space for the students of the Department of Agronomy and Horticulture for many years and will be for years to come.