RTI International on Wednesday named a120,000 square foot office building in honor of Victoria Haynes, who retired as the research organization’s chief executive officer in March. The building houses more than 400 employees.

Haynes led RTI for more than a decade, taking over as CEO in 1999. In that time, RTI added nearly 1,100 employees, and the organization now operates seven regional offices across the U.S. as well as 10 overseas.

“Victoria had a large impact on RTI, on the work that we do, and on the many people who came to know her during her tenure as our president and CEO,” said Wayne Holden, RTI’s current CEO. “I’d like to personally thank her for the support and leadership she provided me during her tenure as RTI’s president and CEO. She has been a friend and a colleague, and I learned a great deal watching her lead RTI.”

WRAL Tech Wire asked RTI for permission to reprint Haynes’ remarks at the dedication.

“RTI Is, and Always Will Be, in My Heart”

Thank all of you for being here today.

One of the great things about RTI … is that unlike many other organizations you do not have to be dead to have a building named after you.

I suppose one of the reasons some organizations wait until you’re gone is to make sure you don’t do anything that would require them to take your name off the building after it’s been named.

Those of you who know me will understand the considerable risk the Board is accepting in awarding me this honor while I’ve still alive … so I want to thank each of them for their vote of confidence. I promise you that I will do my best to earn that vote.

In all seriousness, I am truly honored to be here with you today.

When I first learned the Board and ELT were considering naming a building after me, I was stunned and I was humbled.

When I think about others at RTI who have had buildings named after them, I think of the giants in RTI’s history, people like Gertrude Cox, George Herbert, George Watts Hill, William Little, Earl Johnson and others.

These are remarkable people who contributed greatly to RTI and its success. They are the people who built this organization… who helped it grow… and who helped it become one of the world’s leading independent research and development institutes.

To be counted among them is both truly humbling and a great honor.

And if ever there were a building to be honored by, it is this one… its construction and LEED certification, but there is another very important aspect of this building that is even closer to me.

This building allowed us to bring many people back onto our campus from leased space across the highway, bringing them closer to one another and allowing more collaboration among our staff members.

This building also houses a combination of groups – our international development organization, many of our social scientists, our research computing group, and many of our G&A support staff members.

This building to me represents the type of collaboration I worked toward during my tenure at RTI.

And to think that the Haynes building is also home to the Trent Ragland Computing Center and Camille Dreyfus Auditorium makes me feel even better about the collaboration that will occur here in the years to come.

RTI is, and always will be, in my heart.

When I think about my humble contributions to RTI, I mostly think of what an honor it was to serve in this great organization and among its great people.

I think about the inspiring environment and culture of collaboration we have here.

And I think … about our willingness to experiment and take risks, to stretch our boundaries and to consider new possibilities, to grow and expand as part of our mission and vision.

RTI is an amazing organization.

It allows dedicated experts from many different fields and many different backgrounds and experiences to pursue a noble mission – to improve the human condition by turning knowledge into practice.

That mission is what unites us. It is what makes this place special.

Our mission is, and will always be, what I feel in my heart about RTI, its work and its people.

I will find a special place in my home for this memento. It will serve as a reminder of my connection to RTI, its people, and its mission.

I will always be an advocate for RTI and the work you do around the globe to advance science and improve the human condition, and it warms my heart to know that I will in some small way continue to share in the future of this great organization.

Before I conclude, I want to say a special thanks to the many people who have contributed to my success at RTI.

My family who supported me

The Board Members, on whose support and guidance I could always rely

My friends and colleagues on the Executive Leadership Team who helped us achieve so much as a team during my tenure

And most importantly, the staff members whose daily efforts, creativity, perseverance, innovation and determination have always been the keys to our success.

I thank you all for coming today and for this great honor.