U.S. Naval Academy Superintendent Vice Adm. Ted Carter announced during his opening remarks at the Naval Academy History Conference Sep. 8 that the academy's future Cyber Building will be named after Navy Rear Admiral Grace Hopper.
The annual conference this year appropriately honors the 40th anniversary of women attending the Naval Academy with the title "Athena Conference: Heroines of the Past, Present and Future."
"I can think of no better way to honor Rear Admiral Hopper's achievements specific to our cyber program and new cyber building's function than to name the new building in her honor," said Carter. "Admiral Hopper's foresight in computing and pioneering contributions to cyber security, memorialized in Hopper Hall, will inspire midshipmen, support their technical and professional development, and serve as a role model to encourage midshipmen ingenuity and determination for many years to come."
Hopper Hall will be the first building at the Naval Academy named after a woman.
Hopper was an accomplished mathematician and a pioneer in developing computer technology. She worked on a team to develop the UNIVAC computer and convert mathematic code into language, developing the first compiler in 1952 which led to the creation of COBOL. Hopper served as the director of the Navy Programming Languages Group in the Navy's Office of Information Systems Planning and developed validation software for COBOL and its compiler as part of a COBOL standardization program for the Navy.
Construction of Hopper Hall at the site between Nimitz Library and Rickover Hall will begin shortly after completion of the parking garage on Decatur Road. The facility will include classrooms, teaching and research laboratories, lecture halls, office, an observatory and research and testing tank in support of the engineering and weapons labs. Completion of the project is planned for September 2019.
“This will be a state-of-the-art facility where our very best and brightest will get cutting edge training and education in the cyber field," said Carter.
The Naval Academy was the first institution of higher learning in the U.S. to create mandatory cyber security classes. The academy began offering a cyber operations major in 2013. Additionally, various cyber security topics have been added to the leadership and professional curriculum, and the USNA Center for Cyber Security Studies is formally designated as an NSA/Department of Homeland Security National Center of Excellence in Information Assurance Education.
“While this is the first academic building constructed on the Yard since Rickover Hall nearly 40 years ago, more importantly it represents the Naval Academy’s ability to stay at the forefront of academic excellence and relevance as we develop midshipmen for their future careers in a world where cyber warfare is certain to be a factor,” said Naval Academy Academic Dean Andrew Phillips.