New Paul Hall celebrated with ribbon-cutting, symposium

Steven Paul (center) holds scissors following the ribbon cutting. Paul and wife Jann made the lead gift to establish Paul Hall. (Photo by Tyler Kaufman)

Tulane University celebrated the dedication of the Steven and Jann Paul Hall for Science and Engineering in grand style on April 11.

Tulane President Michael A. Fitts spoke enthusiastically about Paul Hall ushering in a new era of learning and discovery at the university saying, “Our stellar students and world-class faculty now have state-of-the-art STEM facilities for exploration and collaboration.

“This is critically important as we educate the next generation of scientists.”

Standing five stories tall and including 76,000 square feet of laboratories, classrooms and collaborative spaces, Paul Hall is located on the Academic Quad between Stanley Thomas Hall and Donna and Paul Flower Hall in the heart of the uptown campus science district. In addition to expansive interdisciplinary laboratory space and communal areas, Paul Hall houses the Tulane Brain Institute and the Scot Ackerman MakerSpace and will soon feature a state-of-the-art cleanroom.

Steven Paul (A&S ’72, G ’75, M ’75), who along with his wife Jann (SW ’73), made the lead gift to establish Paul Hall said, “We hope that the discoveries made here not only add to the body of fundamental scientific knowledge but that they beneficially and directly impact the lives of people around the world.”

Steven Paul is a physician-neuroscientist and entrepreneur whose career has spanned academia and industry and included developing new treatments for schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease.

In addition to the ribbon-cutting ceremony, guests enjoyed the strains of The Virtuosa String Quartet in lab coats playing Thomas Dolby’s “She Blinded Me with Science.” The leading-edge technology of Paul Hall’s more than 200-seat auditorium also provided the setting for a symposium with George Church, the Robert Winthrop Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School and founding member of the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University, along with Bob Langer, Institute Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

“With Paul Hall, we prepare our students to embrace their aspirations, to become part of a culture where knowledge continually grows and learning never ends,” said Kimberly Foster, dean of the School of Science and Engineering.

The opening of Paul Hall reflects Tulane’s dynamic growth as a research powerhouse. Fiscal year 2023 saw the university garner over $200 million in research funding, which surpassed the previous year’s historic total.

“As we celebrate the opening of Steven and Jann Paul Hall,” said Fitts, “We are moving forward with a historic initiative to position Tulane and New Orleans as a hub for bioinnovation.

“From revitalizing the downtown campus, to launching the Innovation Institute, to building a destination academic medical center in partnership with LCMC Health — we are scaling up our capacity for research that changes the world.”