Saturday, October 22, 2016

USNA Breaks Ground on Hopper Hall

The United States Naval Academy (USNA) broke ground on the construction site for its future cyber building, Hopper Hall Oct. 21.

Hopper Hall, which will house the academy's Center for Cyber Security Studies, will include classrooms, research laboratories, lecture halls, and a research and testing tank to support the engineering and weapons lab.

“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 academy Superintendent Vice Adm. Ted Carter. “I believe the building serves as yet another attraction the Naval Academy has to offer to future midshipmen.”

Naval Facilities Engineering Command awarded the $106,674,440 contract for the construction of Hopper Hall to Turner Construction Co. of Reston, Va. The building is slated to be completed by September 2019.

Hopper Hall is the namesake of Rear Adm. Grace Hopper, often referred to as the mother of computing. This will be the first building at USNA, as well as at any major service academy, named after a woman.

“I can think of no better way to honor Rear Adm. 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 serves as a role model to encourage midshipmen ingenuity and determination for many years to come.”

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 in a world in which cyber warfare is certain to be a factor, said USNA Academic Dean Andrew Phillips.

USNA developed a cyber security studies program in response to the Navy’s increased emphasis on operating effectively in an emerging cyber security environment. The program includes a cyber operations major and required cyber courses for all midshipmen.

The class of 2016 graduated the first 27 cyber operations majors in May. With the construction of Hopper Hall, USNA looks forward to producing not only more cyber operations majors, but new naval officers in every field who are cyber-savvy.

Hopper once said that no computer is ever going to ask a new, reasonable, question - that it takes trained people to do that. For the USNA midshipmen, Hopper Hall will be an innovative space for the Navy’s future leaders to do just that.


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