Andrew Carnegie


Carnegie Building

The Fantasy Carnegie Building Winners

You've seen the emails, you've voted in the poll, you've been waiting with bated breath to find out the winners...

(Note: This project was intended as a fun experiment to see who the faculty and students of Bucknell would have on their ideal Carnegie Building. All contenders were nominated by Bucknell faculty, and faculty and students voted.)

Professor's Choice award goes to
Albert Einstein
Einstein was recommended by 40% of the faculty members who made nominations. 

Second place in Professor's Choice goes to
Charles Darwin

(recommended by a third of faculty)
and third place was a 3-way tie between
Karl Marx, Shakespeare, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt (12% each).

The winners in each category resulting from the faculty-student poll are listed below. Thank you to all 228 people who voted. If your curiosity still isn't satisfied, you can also view the complete and detailed poll results.

Based on the poll results, here are our suggestions for the fantasy building:

South Wall (statesmen)

Most people voted that no one be removed from the building, but a fairly large minority elected to remove McKinley.  Since McKinley's name is in effect already gone from the outside of the building, having been bricked over within the south stairwell, let's leave him there but also add Gandhi to the outside of the building.  While it's true that Jefferson received more overall votes, it makes sense to update the building with a post-1905 figure, especially as we already have a founding father on that wall (and no one suggested removing Washington).

North Wall (philosophers)

Following the same logic, we could put Jean-Paul Sartre on the outside of the south staircase, although his following was not quite as strong as Gandhi's.  Another option would be to move Socrates (now inside the stairwell) to the outside and bury Sartre on the inside.

Front Door (7th Street)

Since opinion is against removing any of these scientists, we should add three names in the empty space in front of the roof, which formerly said "Carnegie Library"-- Einstein in larger letters in the middle, flanked by Darwin and Curie.  While Galileo received more votes than Curie, he had his chance to be added the first time.  This decision would also support Affirmative Action efforts.

Back Door (facing Roberts Hall)

The original Carnegie Building included three additional names in the center of the roof detail on this side: Shakespeare in the center, flanked by Goethe and Homer. Obviously, Shakespeare should be returned to his place of honor in the center of the roof detail, in the original larger letters.  Let's flank him this time with Mozart and Martin Luther King, Jr. and call it miscellaneous people who changed the way we see the world.

The Food Mogul category (fortunately) was not taken very seriously by most voters.  Dave Thomas might make the wall if Carnegie is ever turned into an eatery.

Winners in each category:

Scientists, Pre-1905
Charles Darwin
First runner up, Galileo

33% of the vote

Scientists, Post-1905
Albert Einstein
First runner up, Marie Curie
Philosophers, Pre-1905
Adam Smith
First runner up, Rene Descartes
Philosophers, Post-1905
Jean-Paul Sartre
First runner up, tie between Simone de Beauvoir and Ludwig Wittgenstein



Literary Figures, Pre-1905
First runner up, Homer
Literary Figures, Post-1905
Robert Frost
First runner up, Virginia Woolf
Statesmen, Pre-1905
Thomas Jefferson
First runner up, Frederick Douglass
Statesmen, Post 1905
First runner up, Winston Churchill
New Categories, Pre-1905
New Categories, Post 1905
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Food Moguls
No opinion
First runner up, Dave Thomas
No one
First runner up, McKinley

back to the poll

The Winners

Albert Einstein Martin Luther King, Jr.
Mohandas K. Gandhi Charles Darwin
Franklin Delano Roosevelt Marie Curie
Jean-Paul Sartre Karl Marx


Quotes from the Faculty:


"[Rosalind Franklin] was a biophysicist who pioneered the study of molecular structures. She first found evidence of the helical structure of a DNA molecule; her contributions to science are largely overlooked by history, because Watson and Crick effectively stole her thunder by using her work to support their own observations of DNA's structure."

-- Dr. Elizabeth Capaldi
Assistant Professor of Biology and Animal Behavior


"James Clerk Maxwell should have been included - he is still regarded as probably the third greatest physicist (behind Newton and Einstein) and his contributions were already appreciated by 1905. His equations for electricity and magnetism unified seemingly distinct phenomena, revealed what light is, and planted the seeds for understanding relativity. On top of that, he did extremely important work in thermodynamics."

-- Dr. Ben Vollmayr-Lee
Associate Professor of Physics


"Louis Pasteur. He made breakthrough contributions to our understanding of microorganisms and their involvement in biological processes, especially as causes of disease. This led to the development of vaccines, aseptic techniques in medicine, and pasteurization, all of which have been invaluable advances for health and the quality of life."

-- Dr. Kevin Myers
Assistant Professor of Psychology



"John Dewey - As someone in the field of education, I contuinue to find the work of John Dewey to be provocative and useful. He proposed a new kind of education that was remarkable in its day and continues to influence and challenge our notions of what it means to be well educated. In addition, his significant contributions to philosophy, the arts, psychology, and education demonstrate that he was one of the most influential minds of the 2oth century."

-- Dr. Abe Feuerstein
Associate Professor of Education


"I would advocate [John Stuart] Mill or [John] Locke over Hegel...Surely, Mill's liberalism and consequentialism - or Locke's defense of property rights - lay the philosophical groundwork, more so than Hegel, for the advance of (a) American political theory, (b) contemporary political philosophy, and even (c) American triumphalism."

-- Dr. Michael E. Johnson-Cramer
Assistant Professor of Management


"A mischievous choice, to be panned by my philosophical colleagues, would be Ayn Rand, who has probably been read by more people than all the other dead white men combined."

-- Dr. P. Aarne Vesilind
Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering


Literary Figures

"I would have originally added Sappho, the 7th century BCE poetess from the Greek isle of Lesbos. She should have been included simply because of the beauty and imagery of her poetry, of course, but also because she very nearly offers us the only portrait of life in early Greek antiquity in a woman's voice."

-- Dr. Stephanie Larson
Assistant Professor of Classics


"Walt Whitman - because this list needs a rustic."

-- Dr. Thomas Cassidy
Assistant Professor of Mathematics



"Thomas Jefferson - I think Jefferson's commitment to the concepts of public education and religious freedom - in addition to numerous other contributions - make him a good fit. Also, if he hadn't created UVA I might never have made it to Bucknell!"

-- Dr. Abe Feuerstein
Associate Professor of Education


"[Winston] Churchill is also in this category of world influence. Not only was he probably the main rallying point for democracy when England more or less was going it alone in the Second World War, for good or ill he was also a significant player in the British government since about 1905...He coined the phrase 'Iron Curtain' and certainly affected the Cold War through his policies, as well as presiding over the intial breakup of the British empire. On top of all this, he was also a writer of sufficient merit to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature."

-- Dr. Brian Williams
Associate Professor of Chemistry


New Categories

"Martin Luther King Jr. The great historical issue that never goes away in America is race and Dr. King did more to change race relations in this nation (and the cause of human emancipation in general) than anyone else in the modern era. He is the most important American of the 20th century, and number two isn't close."

-- Dr. John Hunter
Assistant Professor of Comparative Humanities


Food Moguls

"Which would you rather have: a bucket of golden crispy chicken, or a biography of William McKinley?"

-- anonymous



"McKinley, by common consensus a mediocre president, an architect of an unfortunate period of US imperialism, who had only recently been assassinated, thereby increasing his popularity just at the moment when the building was being planned. It's parallel to the large number of public facilities named for JFK in the 1960s. In both cases we now can see them as seriously flawed."

-- Dr. John Peeler
Professor of Political Science

This page is part of the 100 Years Carnegie project
commemorating the 100 year anniversary
of the Carnegie Building at Bucknell University.

This page is no longer being maintained