The renovated auditorium was renamed at the request of alumnus John Clayton to honor Scott Northrup, TTU chemistry professor and master's program coordinator who served as chemistry department chairperson from August 1997 to July 2005. Clayton provided funding and garnered additional support from Schering-Plough to modernize the traditional lecture auditorium. The new look and functionality of the auditorium includes new flooring, seats, paint, sound-absorbing material and the latest in audio and visual equipment.
"I'm proud to be a graduate of Tennessee Tech, and having worked with graduates from Stanford, Harvard and Yale, I've never felt second rate and held my own because of the education I received here and the commitment of the faculty," said Clayton.
"I appreciate Dr. Northrup for his vision and assistance in the further development of the chemistry department under his eight-year leadership as department chair," he added.
Two plaques at the upper entrances of the auditorium, located in Foster Hall's Room 233, were unveiled during a reception in honor of Clayton and Northrup; the plaques read "Dedicated to Dr. Scott Northrup in recognition of his exemplary commitment to students and leadership in the enrichment of the department as chairperson."
Northrup earned his bachelor's degree in chemistry from the University of Northern Colorado and his master's degree and doctorate from the University of Colorado. He joined TTU in 1980 and was awarded TTU's Caplenor Faculty Research Award for outstanding faculty research accomplishments in 1988 and the university's Sigma Xi Research Award for outstanding contribution at TTU in 1982 and 1987.