Chapman University’s new classroom building, now rising on the south side of the Bert C. Williams Mall, will be named the James L. and Lynne P. Doti Hall, Chancellor Daniele Struppa announced Friday, Oct. 26, at his first State of the Academy address.

The news was greeted with enthusiastic applause from the Memorial Hall audience. President Jim Doti and Professor Lynne Doti were in the audience and stood to acknowledge the warm reception.

“It is named after two people who have made this university an amazing place and also made it possible for me to come here to this stage and tell you about all the great things we have done,” Struppa said.

The James L. and Lynne P. Doti Hall is the final piece in the University’s long-planned completion of the historic core campus. The historic structures surrounding the lawn were all once part of the former Orange High School campus. Like its counterparts, built from 1913 to 1921, Doti Hall is designed in the neoclassical style of architecture. (Wilkinson Hall, called Central by the school district, was built in 1904 but was moved to its present location just east of the mall in 1922.)

The new classroom building will be two stories with a basement and have about 15,000 square feet.

The chancellor’s surprise announcement came toward the end of his presentation highlighting the University’s academic achievements of the past year and its upcoming plans for expanded academic programs.

Struppa opened his talk with praise for the entire faculty and support staff, saying that all had a hand in Chapman’s latest rise in the prestigious rankings of “America’s Best Colleges” by U.S. News & World Report. In the 2013 rankings, Chapman climbed to No. 6 in the Western region. It was No. 7 last year.

“This, I think, is the most exciting news of the year. It’s really a reflection of the work that we’ve done,” Struppa said.

Struppa also highlighted the growth of faculty publishing, diversity advances in the student body and the development of faculty research. And he previewed a variety of programs under consideration, from new graduate programs in documentary film to undergraduate studies in software engineering.

“This is a good time for Chapman,” he said.