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The Builder
C.D. Moody Jr. '78A Conversation with C.D. Moody ’78
Contractor for the Walter E. Massey Leadership Center

“A solid foundation, a strong exterior, but an inside that is compassionate and warm.”

C.D. Moody ’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.

Moody founded 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.

Moody talked with Morehouse College about why building the Walter E. Massey Leadership Center is so near and dear to his heart.

Morehouse College: What does building the Walter E. Massey Leadership Center mean to you?

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 stands for.

Merrill Hall/ Hope Hall Technology TowerHaving 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.

What also 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.

Morehouse: 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 Man.

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 and warm.

Morehouse: 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 so important.

Leadership 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.

Morehouse: 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 Morehouse?

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.

Morehouse: So, in what ways have you seen that? Have there been any special touches that you’ve put on it?

Moody: 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.”

Morehouse: 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.

Morehouse: 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.

Morehouse: 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 education?

Moody: 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.

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