The 43rd Southeastern Magnetic Resonance Conference will be held at Shelby Hall on the University of Alabama campus located in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
Shelby Hall is the home of the University of Alabama Chemistry Department. We are very proud of the unique architectural design of our building. Shelby Hall was constructed in the shape of a pentagon whose entrance is a copy of the original campus rotunda. A bell tower now stands where the rotunda once stood on the quad across the street from the President’s’ Mansion. The side extensions of Shelby’s pentagon that house the faculty offices were designed to recall the end buildings that served the original campus which was located on “the quad.” The campus was burned down in 1865 at the end of the Civil War. Only the President’s Mansion was spared by the feisty Presidents wife. During the final designs of Shelby hall, the back two staircases were inspired by molecular structures that are used in chemical research. The fourth floor ceilings in the stairwells are hexagon shaped skylights reflecting the structure of benzene. The right and left spiral staircases are curved as the right and left part of the DNA chain with the back men’s and women’s bathrooms located on either side of the circular stairwells so that a mirror plane dissects the building thorough the rotunda, reflecting the chiral nature of many molecules. The structure of a carbene is formed if 2 electrons are placed at the rotunda or a metal complex if a metal atom is located there. The molecules pyrrole, thiophene, and furan are formed when nitrogen, sulfur, or oxygen atoms are placed instead. It is a pleasure to point out these features on a tour of Shelby Hall.