Purdue Office of Institutional Research staffer receives One Brick Higher Award

October 3, 2012  

Christopher Maxwell OBH

Christopher Maxwell, from left, receives the One Brick Higher Award from acting President Timothy Sands. (Purdue University photo/Mark Simons)
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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Christopher Maxwell, a senior research and planning analyst in the Office of Institutional Research, was honored Tuesday (Oct. 2) with Purdue University's One Brick Higher Award.

Maxwell received the award at the President's Forum in the Stewart Center's Fowler Hall.

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.

Maxwell's work in the Office of Institutional Research involves compiling, analyzing and modeling data for a variety of uses, which in the past year included the Provost's Academic Assessment project, U.S. News and World Report data, data for the annual ADVANCE grant, and a faculty retention database, to name a few. Maxwell has also made significant contributions to the Association of American Universities Data Exchange (AAUDE) in developing new tools to make data more accessible, and he is regarded nationally by institutional research colleagues for his extensive knowledge and technical expertise.

Acting President Timothy Sands presented Maxwell with the award.

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

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.

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