New building to nurture studies in human and family development

October 7, 2011

Children in the Ben and Maxine Miller Child Development Laboratory School play in one of the new classrooms in Bill and Sally Hanley Hall. The $11.5 million building was dedicated Friday (Oct. 7). In addition to the child development laboratory school, it also is home to the Department of Human Development and Family Studies, Military Family Research Institute, and Purdue Center on Aging and the Life Course. (Purdue University photo/Chloe Woodson)

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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Military families, preschool-age children and older adults are among those who will benefit from research at Purdue University's new Bill and Sally Hanley Hall.

The $11.5 million hall was dedicated Friday (Oct. 7). A $3 million gift from Purdue alumni Bill and Sally Hanley and $1.5 million from the Lilly Endowment Inc., which creates a permanent space in Hanley Hall for the Military Family Research Institute, supported the building. The remainder of the building's cost was supported by individual private gifts.

"Hanley Hall is Purdue's new home for discovery and learning related to the study of families, children and human development, and we are thankful for all of the support, especially from Sally and Bill Hanley and the Lilly Endowment, that made this building possible," said Purdue President France A. Córdova. "Within these walls, pioneering research will foster breakthroughs in knowledge in areas related to children, youth, families and adults."

The 32,600-square-foot building houses offices, child classroom laboratories, conference rooms and interdisciplinary research centers. The three-story building is at the corner of Jischke Drive and State Street and is connected by a sky bridge to Fowler House.

"My wife and her family are passionate about helping people of all ages," said Bill Hanley, a 1960 industrial management graduate who resides in Omaha. "She taught young children during her summers as a Purdue student and has volunteered throughout her life, including coordinating and driving meals to elderly adults who need assistance."

The $11.5 million Bill and Sally Hanley Hall was dedicated Friday (Oct. 7). It is the new home to the Department of Human Development and Family Studies, Military Family Research Institute, Purdue Center on Aging and the Life Course, and Ben and Maxine Miller Child Development Laboratory School. (Purdue University photo/Chloe Woodson)

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Sally Berner Hanley is a 1961 home economics and child development graduate.

"My husband and I view this as an opportunity to help people all of ages through a variety of programs and, perhaps most importantly, teaching today's students as they prepare for their own careers and contributions to their communities about topics related to human development and families," Sally Hanley said.

The Hanleys also previously funded a professorship in the department - the Berner-Hanley Professor in Gerontology, Developmental and Family Studies.

The new building brings together these four groups that were previously scattered across campus:

* Department of Human Development and Family Studies

* Military Family Research Institute

* Purdue Center on Aging and the Life Course

* Ben and Maxine Miller Child Development Laboratory School

"Hanley Hall realizes a long-term goal of bringing together in a central location human development and family studies faculty, staff and colleagues; associated research centers; and the Miller Child Development Laboratory School," said Christine Ladisch, dean of the College of Health and Human Sciences. "The facility will play a major role in accommodating a broad spectrum of collaborative and applied research focusing on issues concerning children, families and aging."

The Military Family Research Institute is part of the Center for Families, which supports research and works with educators, human service professionals, employers and policymakers to promote family issues. The institute continues to be acknowledged by officials in Washington, D.C., for its work that focuses on improving the quality of life for military and veteran families. The Center for Families is housed in the adjacent Fowler Hall, and many faculty from the Department of Human Development and Family Studies are part of the center.

"Faculty in human development and family studies focus on a variety of research questions, including how personality traits affect individuals' health over the lifespan, methods to promote the literacy of preschool children, and how relationships can affect a patient's management of a chronic disease," said Doran French, professor and head of the Department of Human Development and Family Studies. "Other professors are working to improve the standards for preschool education in Indiana, researching how adolescent siblings affect each other's behaviors and attitudes, and exploring how young children deal with emotional stress."

Those studying and teaching early childhood education also work closely with the Miller Child Development Laboratory School. The Millers, of Lafayette, Ind., gave a leadership gift to the Purdue Child Care Program in 2005 to support the laboratory school.

The Miller Child Development Laboratory School is a combined preschool and all-day child care program. It serves 66 children six weeks to 5 years old in the all-day program and 48 children ages 2-5 in the half-day preschool program. The lab school also is a learning environment for Purdue students in the department's early childhood education program who can observe classrooms, gain practicum experience and conduct research.

The Center on Aging and the Life Course involves 50 faculty and 30 graduate students from more than 20 departments representing multiple colleges.

"The Center on Aging and the Life Course, which focuses on research and education related to aging, is one of Purdue's strong interdisciplinary efforts that includes faculty and graduate students from seven different colleges," Ladisch said.

The College of Health and Human Sciences is home to the departments of Consumer Sciences and Retailing; Health and Kinesiology; Human Development and Family Studies; Nutrition Science; Psychological Sciences; and Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences, as well as the schools of Nursing, Health Sciences, and Hospitality and Tourism Management.

There are more than 4,700 undergraduate majors and 506 graduate students in the college and 207 faculty members.

Writer: Amy Patterson Neubert, 765-494-9723, apatterson@purdue.edu

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

                   Christine Ladisch, 765-494-8210, ladischc@purdue.edu

                   Doran French, 765-494-9511, dcfrench@purdue.edu