One Brick Higher Award presented to research office team

February 23, 2011

Richard Buckius, vice president for research, receives the One Brick Higher Award from President France A. Córdova. Members of the staff of the Office of the Vice President for Research were honored with the award at the President's Forum on Tuesday. (Purdue University photo/Andrew Hancock)

Download image

Members of the staff of the Office of the Vice President for Research were honored Tuesday (Feb. 22) with the One Brick Higher Award.

The OVPR staff received the award at the President's Forum in the South Ballroom, Purdue Memorial Union.

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.

Under the leadership of Richard Buckius, vice president for research, funding for sponsored program research has reached a record $438 million, an increase of 28 percent over one year. Funding sources included private industries, the National Science Foundation, federal government departments, state and local grants, and support from foreign governments.

"Richard, you and your staff have exhibited extraordinary effort in helping take Purdue to higher levels of research funding," President France A. Córdova said in presenting the award. "Your staff has streamlined the pre-award application process, assisted faculty and staff in their research efforts, expanded funding opportunities and initiated private sector partnerships. In addition, you have helped set Discovery Park on a sustainable funding path, which is critical as we strive to reach our goals for discovery with delivery. Those who sponsor our research share in our vision of transformative technologies that serve humanity and improve the quality of life around the world. 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.