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Seattle University

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Sign here to top it all off

Written by Mike Thee
November 13, 2009

Big doings this Friday at the Lemieux Library and McGoldrick Learning Commons. That afternoon, the final beam of steel will be put into place during a “topping off” ceremony. But before the structure can be sealed and eventually delivered, there’s some signing that has to happen—and your autograph is wanted.

“Topping off” or “topping out,” University Librarian John Popko explains, “is an “ancient tradition that celebrates the laying of the final beam at the top of an important, new building. Traditionally, the building owner and the construction crew that have worked on the building sign the beam before it is hoisted into place.”

That tradition is being extended at SU, as the entire campus community will be invited to autograph the beam before it is raised atop the addition.

To put your John (or Joan) Hancock on the beam, just come by the construction site anytime between 8 a.m. and 1:55 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 20. Then come back at 2:15 p.m. to watch the beam rise up and settle into place. Traffic will be halted on the lower mall during the ceremony.