An anthology of enthusiasm from Shan Arora

One person who was chomping at the bit last month before the Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design opened, and who has been off to the races since, is Kendeda Building Director Shan Arora.

Arora has been setting up a full slate of events and activities in the building; working with the construction team to make sure some of the punch-list items get knocked out right; leading very high-energy tours; and singing the building’s praises everywhere. His energy has been infectious.

His column on the Health & Happiness Petal, which will be published later this week as part of our Petal Columns series, is quite inspirational. Meanwhile, here’s one of several photo “anthologies” that he’s been sending around to friends and colleagues. It offers a good idea of how quickly the building has hub for sustainability and equity activities on the Georgia Tech campus. (My annotations are bracketed and in italics.)


We had another fantastic week that should make all of us proud of time invested by The Kendeda Fund, Georgia Tech, and all of the other partners!

Sunday Oct. 6 – 2019 Society for College and University Planning Southern Regional Conference. Dan Nemec and Jason Gregory brought a group to The Kendeda Building for a tour. And many thanks to Margaret Sprug (Miller Hull) and Joshua Gassman (LAS) for giving the tour to the 35 guests who came to the building!

Shan Arora, anthology

Monday Oct. 7 – 2019 Society for College and University Planning Southern Regional Conference. Margaret Sprug (Miller Hull), Joshua Gassman (LAS), and I gave a seminar about The Kendeda Building to a standing-room-only audience. 

Shan Arora, anthology

Tuesday Oct. 8 – The Georgia Tech Society of Women Engineers Fall Networking Night was well attended with a 100% compostable service-ware dinner provided by GT Dining.

Shan Arora, anthology

Shan Arora, anthologyTuesday Oct. 8 – While the Georgia Tech Society of Women Engineers Fall Networking Night was underway in the auditorium, Georgia Tech Pride Alliance had a panel discussing issues impacting the Hispanic community.Shan Arora, anthologyWednesday Oct. 9 – Our sign has been installed!

Shan Arora, anthologyThis is completely unnecessary. #EmoryStillUndefeated [I guess that’s an inside joke for Emory graduates, like – ahem – Arora. – KE]

Shan Arora, anthologyThursday Oct. 10 – President Cabrera and Mrs. Blank met to discuss her vision and to take a tour of the building. [Angel Cabrera, left, is Georgia Tech’s new president, and philanthropist Diana Blank is with the Kendeda Fund. Barry Berlin, second from left, is the Kendeda Fund’s financial advisor, and Georgia Tech Architecture Professor Michael Gamble helped to bring Georgia Tech and the Kendeda Fund together. – KE]

Shan Arora, anthology

No visit to The Kendeda Building is complete without a trip to the restroom! [Another inside joke from Shan: Everyone seems to be interested in the composting toilets! That’s Kendeda’s Dena Kimball, Arora and Cabrera chatting in a stall. – KE]

Cabrera, Shan Arora, anthology, Dena Kimball

Thursday Oct. 10 – These two students entered the building while clapping and expressing their joy. They were so excited to see it for themselves!

Thursday evening Oct. 10 – María Ceballos and her daughter helped artists paint the KBISD’s mural. Many thanks to María for her hard work and patience with the building’s signage. [Ceballos, an architect for Georgia Tech, has overseen signage for the building. – KE]

Maria CeballosFriday Oct. 11 – Over 100 members of the Georgia Tech Muslim Student Association visited The Kendeda Building.

This picture was taken before we entered the composting toilet room in the basement, where we discussed the challenge of managing human waste and why it is both an ecologic and equity issue worldwide. Note the work on the mural occurring in the background!

Friday Oct. 11 – A sneak peak of what the downstairs mural will look like.

Friday Oct. 11 – Official architectural photo shoot. [That’s Arora photo bombing … sort of. A photographer for Lord Aeck Sargent was onsite last week to document the building. – KE]

And remember…

It Takes a VIllageKind Regards,


PHOTO AT TOP: Kendeda Building Director Shan Arora (left) speaks to Angel Cabrera, recently installed president of Georgia Tech during his first visit to the Kendeda Building, while Kendeda Fund philanthropist Diana Blank looks on. All photos were shot by Shan Arora and other members of the Georgia Tech Community.