For Seegers Union Project
November 16, 2009
Muhlenberg College students, faculty and staff joined members of the Alvin H. Butz, Inc. construction company and members of the community on October 30 to celebrate the installation of the last steel beam in the Seegers Union expansion project.
The Topping-Off Ceremony, as the event is called, represents a time-honored tradition in construction. Workers commemorate the installation as a measure of thanks for the success of the project to date and the continued fortune and health of those involved.
The process itself began in Europe centuries ago. Historically, workers have fastened a small tree or branch to the final beam as a measure of thanks to the tree-dwelling spirits as a tribute and sign of gratitude for the lumber used in the construction.
For the week preceding the event, students, faculty and staff were invited to sign their names on the final beam. The steel was placed in a prominent place in Parents Plaza and painted Muhlenberg red in anticipation of the ceremony.
Speakers included President Randy Helm; Richard Brueckner ’71, P’04, P’10, Chairman of the Board of Trustees; Jon Falk ’10, Student Body President; Greg Butz, President and CEO, Alvin H. Butz. Inc.; Thomas Martin, Superintendent, Alvin H. Butz, Inc.; and Dan Raih, Principal of Brunner/Cott & Associates, Inc. architecture. Chaplain Peter Bredlau began the ceremony with an invocation.
Students and faculty then looked on as the final beam was lifted and secured into place to the tune of Bruce Springsteen’s “The Rising,” marking a pivotal step in the completion of the expanded Seegers Union.