In the fast-paced, text-messaging society we live in, it seems as though any common phrase with more than one syllable can be shortened for sake of speed and efficiency.
So it didn’t take long for the Arkansas Tech University campus community to find a faster way to communicate the idea of Baswell Techionery once the new student union opened at the beginning of the fall 2011 semester.
It was especially useful in this case because shortening the name helped differentiate the new building from the original Techionery, which was constructed in 1937 and sits just across the street from Baswell Techionery.
The only question was how do you spell the abbreviation: Bas-Tech or Baz-Tech?
Turns out the answer can be traced back to the namesake of the building: Col. Carl Franklin Baswell.
A member of the Arkansas Tech Class of 1942, Baswell (photographed) was known as “Red” during his days keeping score at Wonder Boys basketball games and studying engineering at Tech.
He went on to a 32-year career in the military and a long civilian career as an international engineer and consultant.
Along the way --- with help from his skiing buddies --- he traded in his college nickname for a new one: Baz.
So, when it became obvious during the current academic year that almost everyone was abbreviating the name of Baswell Techionery, Arkansas Tech put the phrase “Baz-Tech” (with a ‘z’ rather than an ‘s’) above the main entrance to the building so that it would be a proper recognition of the Colonel’s nickname.
“Col. Baswell was pleased to hear everyone calling the building Baz-Tech when he was on campus for the dedication last September,” said Susie Nicholson, vice president for student services and university relations at Arkansas Tech. “His friends know him as Baz and call him Baz, so the name Baz-Tech is a perfect fit.”
Regardless of how you shorten the name, Baswell Techionery has become a favorite gathering place for Arkansas Tech students during the 2011-12 academic year. The combination of casual atmosphere, increased dining options and increased meeting space for student organizations has made the facility a welcomed addition to campus.
“Generations of Arkansas Tech students will look back with fond memories of the hours they spent in Baz-Tech,” said Nicholson. “The ability to formally recognize the abbreviated name of the building is just one more way we can extend our gratitude to Col. Baswell for his support of our university.”