One Brick Higher presented to international student tornado relief effort

March 27, 2012

Members of a group of international students who took part in tornado relief efforts in southern Indiana are pictured Tuesday (March 27) with Purdue President France A. Córdova after receiving the One Brick Higher Award. International students, hailing from 20 different countries, along with Purdue staff members and others, were on hand when the award was announced at the President's Forum. Pictured, from left are, Toba Omotilewa from Nigeria, Córdova, Guannan Li from China, Ana Guimares from Brazil, Yihan Li from China, Ellie Lin from Taiwan, and Ricardo Schiochet from Brazil. (Purdue University photo/Mark Simons)

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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - A group of international students and others who took part in tornado relief efforts in southern Indiana were honored Tuesday (March 27) with Purdue University's One Brick Higher Award.

Members of the group received the award at the President's Forum in the Purdue Memorial Union's South Ballroom.

The One Brick Higher Award is a special honor at Purdue. It 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. It is given to faculty, staff and students who undertake their work with extra vitality, extra care, extra creativity and extraordinary effort.

International students, hailing from 20 different countries, along with Purdue staff members and others, were on hand Tuesday when the award was announced. Representing the students were Guannan Li and Yihan Li from China; Ellie Lin from Taiwan; Toba Omotilewa, from Nigeria; and Ana Guimares and Ricardo Schiochet, both from Brazil. Representing staff and others were Maureen Doyle, Nancy Montague and Sharon Winslow, all of the International Students and Scholars office; Dave Ayers and Mike Brzezinski from the International Programs office; Mike Piggott of the Office of Public Affairs; Mike Boesch of the Purdue Police Department; and Annie Brzezinski, a sophomore from Harrison High School in West Lafayette.

"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. 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 future President's Forums. Nominees should be from the West Lafayette campus. A website (http://www.purdue.edu/president/onebrickhigher) provides more information about the award and a nomination form.

Source: France A. Córdova, president@purdue.edu