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New School of Engineering and Computer Science 'Topping off ceremony'

Monday, July 29, 2013
New School of Engineering and Computer Science 'Topping off ceremony'
On Thursday, July 25, 2013 a non-religious but formal ceremony took place to commemorate the placing of the last steel beam milestone in the construction of the new School of Engineering and Computer Science building. All tradesman on the job usually join in the celebration as well as the supervisors, representatives of the architecture and engineering firms, the owner or representatives of the owning organization, donors, and any VIPs that are invited. The ceremony is often parlayed into a media event for public relations purposes.

While the ceremony itself has no standard agenda, it usually includes the placing of an evergreen tree upon the structure to symbolize growth and bring luck. State and national flags are often raised atop the structure. It may take place during lunch time and can include a catered meal and entertainment. In large building construction, the topping out beam may be signed by the ironworker crew, or by local dignitaries depending on the importance of the building.

The topping out ceremony is similar to ship naming and launching ceremonies.
Dr. Lentini speaking at the Topping off ceremony

Lifting beam
Final beam
Dr. Lentini, Provost, Signing the beam