One Brick Higher presented to Purdue Dance Marathon

January 24, 2012

President France A. Córdova presents the One Brick Higher Award to Purdue University Dance Marathon members, from left, Samantha Lame, Maddie Lamb and Beka Schroeder. (Purdue University photo/Mark Simons)

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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Purdue University Dance Marathon was honored Tuesday (Jan. 24) with the One Brick Higher Award.

PUDM officers received the award at the President's Forum in the Purdue Memorial Union 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.

The Purdue University Dance Marathon, established in 2005, has raised nearly $900,000 for the children and families at Riley Hospital for Children. Money goes to the Cancer Center and to Camp Riley.

"All of the Dance Marathon officers, committees and dancers have shown incredible care and concern for families and children who are facing health challenges with your dedication to the Dance Marathon and your ongoing support of families at Riley Hospital for Children," President France A. Córdova said in presenting the award. "Thanks to your dedication and drive, this year you inspired fellow students to raise more than $300,000 for the hospital and its programs.

"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 provides more information about the award and a nomination form.