Conversation with C.D. Moody ’78
Contractor for the Walter E. Massey Leadership Center
foundation, a strong exterior, but an inside that is compassionate
’78, founder and owner of C.D. Moody Construction Company,
graduated from Morehouse in 1978 with a degree in psychology,
and later earned the bachelor’s of architecture, a five-year
professional degree, from Howard University. After graduating
from Howard in 1981, he worked as an architect in the nuclear
power department at Bechtel’s Ann Harbor, Mich., office
for two-and-a-half years before returning to Atlanta, where he
worked as a project manager for several small companies.
C.D. Moody Construction Company in 1987, initially finding work
as a joint venture/general contractor in the City of Atlanta’s
minority business program.
Some of the
company’s notable projects include Philips Arena, the Federal
Reserve Bank of Atlanta, Turner Baseball Field, Big Bethel Baptist
Church and even Disney World in Orlando, Fla. The Morehouse Suites,
parking deck and Merrill Hall/Technology Tower projects rank among
the assignments the company has completed on the Morehouse campus.
And now Moody Construction Company can add another notch to its
belt with the construction of the Leadership Center facility.
with Morehouse College about why building the Walter E. Massey Leadership Center
is so near and dear to his heart.
College: What does building the Walter E. Massey Leadership Center mean
C. David “C.D.”
Moody: Well, it means a couple of things. One, being
able to actually build any building on the Morehouse campus, where
I went to school, is truly an honor because of what the institution
my own son and family and friends’ kids go there and my
classmates and other folks see something that we built on campus
is an honor… Everything we do already is at a high level,
but I go out my way to make sure that we just really take the
Leadership Center or anything we do at Morehouse just to a level
of high performance.
is important to me—because of what Maynard Jackson stood
for in fighting for equal business opportunities—is building
something with his name attached to it. As a Morehouse alumnus,
that’s extra touching.
Would you say that visually the Walter E. Massey Leadership Center is symbolic
of the kind of men Morehouse produces?
Moody: Most definitely. The one thing that I
like is that it is a building, a design, of grand stature. What
I mean by that is that you can tell it looks like a Morehouse
It is solidly
built. It has a great foundation. It has an incredible exterior,
but the interior, which is the heart, is beautiful and compassionate
and warm. So to me, that’s a reflection of a Morehouse Man:
a solid foundation, a strong exterior, but an inside that is compassionate
You say that construction is not just a “brick and mortar”
business; it’s a “people business.” So, what
does that mean in relation to this, I think especially when you’re
talking about the inside of the building?
Moody: Well one, it’s inviting, it has
state-of-the-art technology and design, but more importantly,
it’s the things of leadership. And to me, leadership is
will be taught in those walls and is what Morehouse is all about.
So, I think the important thing for me is that it’s what’s
going to come out of those walls, the kind of young man who will
be coming out of those walls who are preparing for leadership,
preparing for the world.
One of your goals, your mission, is going out of your way for
the client or customer. So how have you gone out of your way for
Moody: One thing is by the price we gave them.
We gave them an extremely good price…and quality did not
have to suffer to give them a good price. I personally met with
all the subcontractors and made it clear to them that this school
is near and dear to my heart, and I wanted them all to give 110
percent to this project.
So, in what ways have you seen that? Have there been any special
touches that you’ve put on it?
No, because I’m not a designer, I’m just a builder.
But we just made sure things—this is what I told them—I
said, “Let’s make sure that when this is done, that
the school and everyone would just be extremely proud and that
we would hopefully have an award-winning building.”
What are some of your favorite rooms in the building?
Moody: I love the pre-function area; I like the
3rd and 4th floor area—the glass area that overlooks the
football field—I think that’s a great place to watch
the football games on Saturday. I like the big conference room
areas and the auditorium.
Describe for me the pre-function area.
Moody: That’s basically a large foyer area
where people can mingle and do things before they go into either
a large auditorium function or go into a large function in the
conference areas. But it is beautiful, with a nice curved, vaulted
ceiling and nice columns, just really a beautiful looking building.
I also noticed that in the list of current projects, a lot of
the buildings that you are building are places of learning, places
of education. Why is that? Is there something special to you about
Well, my grandfather was an educator. He was a jenne supervisor…in
Louisiana. A jenne supervisor was someone who supervised the black
teachers. My parents were educators; my aunts and uncles on my
dad’s side were all educators, so I just come from a long
list of people who were educators. I just believe that education
is the key because once you get knowledge, no one can ever take
that from you.