One Brick Higher presented to Tony Hawkins

October 25, 2011

Purdue President France A. Córdova presents the Once Brick Higher Award to L. Tony Hawkins. (Purdue University photo/Mark Simons)

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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - L. Tony Hawkins was honored Tuesday (Oct. 25) with Purdue University's One Brick Higher Award.

Hawkins, associate vice president for student affairs, received the award during the President's Forum in the Purdue Memorial Union South Ballroom.

The One Brick Higher Award is a special honor at Purdue that is presented to faculty, staff and students who go beyond the requirements of their role to improve the lives of those around them, increase the effectiveness of the workplace and/or prevent or solve problems. The aim is to recognize those who undertake their work with extra vitality, care, creativity and effort.

Hawkins was dean of students at Purdue from 1996 through March 2011, when he was named associate vice president for student affairs. He began working at Purdue in 1973 as a graduate assistant in the Office of Admissions. He also worked in the Division of Financial Aid before becoming a counselor in the Office of the Dean of Students in 1975. He was named assistant dean in 1977 and associate dean in 1980.

"Tony, your dedication to students is apparent in everything you do at Purdue," President France A. Córdova said in announcing the award. "Throughout your years here, you have been a strong advocate for our students and a trusted adviser to them. Your calm demeanor, your care and compassion, and your innate ability to know when and how to give direction have endeared you to students and colleagues alike.

"I think I speak for the entire Purdue family when I say that you have taken this university 'One Brick Higher.'"

The One Brick Higher Award is steeped in Purdue history. It first was presented in 2002 and takes its name from events in 1894-95. In 1894 the newly built Heavilon Hall - which was then the home of Purdue engineering - was dedicated. The building featured a tower symbolizing academic excellence. Four days after the dedication a fire destroyed this new campus landmark, and Purdue President James A. Smart rallied spirits on campus by declaring that Heavilon Hall and its tower would be rebuilt "one brick higher."

And it was rebuilt. The new building was completed the following year and featured a tower with a clock and four bells that served as a campus landmark for 60 years.

In the 1950s, Heavilon Hall was torn down and the present structure was built. The bells were placed in storage until 1995, when the Purdue Bell Tower was completed. The bells hanging in the tower today are from the hall that was built "one brick higher."

Faculty, staff and students are invited to submit nominations for future winners of the One Brick Higher Award, which will be presented at President's Forums. Nominees should be from the West Lafayette campus. A website ( provides more information about the award and a nomination form.