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Oct. 2, 2003

Purdue and Krannert School of Management dedicate Rawls Hall

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Jerry S. Rawls Hall, which was dedicated with a baseball-themed event today (Thursday, 10/2), will almost double the size of the playing field and change the rules of the game for Purdue's Krannert School of Management students.

The first pitch
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Jerry S. Rawls, the Krannert School alumnus who made the lead $10 million building gift for the privately financed facility, was a featured speaker at the dedication in the third-floor atrium area. Rawls is the CEO of Finisar Corp., a Silicon Valley optical networking company.

Purdue President Martin C. Jischke said the facility sets the standard for the campus learning environment.

"The Krannert School approached building Rawls Hall with a commitment to our students' learning experience as the first priority," Jischke said. "Rawls Hall's classrooms incorporate technology to create a truly interactive environment, and the facility's soaring open space symbolizes the kinds of forward-thinking companies and organizations where Krannert School graduates will work and lead."

Jerry S. Rawls
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Rawls said, "This is an exciting day for me, the Krannert School of Management and Purdue University. The new building is a beautiful facility that stands out on the Purdue campus and draws attention to the Krannert School and its terrific programs.

"My hope is that the building will make teaching and learning more enjoyable and productive activities. It should also help the school attract highly capable faculty and students, which is imperative for Krannert to retain its place among the world's top business schools."

Richard A. Cosier, Krannert School dean and Leeds Professor of Management, said the building adds to Krannert's competitive assets.

"For business schools, the environment is global and highly competitive," Cosier said. "Thanks to Jerry Rawls' gift, we are better able to attract the best faculty and students, and, once here, connect them consistently to the best business minds and current thinking about business and management issues."

By the numbers, the $35 million, 128,000-square-foot, four-story building makes possible adding 20 new faculty members as part of the university's strategic plan to add 300 faculty members across campus over five years. The five new faculty members who came to Krannert this year and the nine more coming in the next two years will be dedicated to further strengthening the undergraduate program, which currently has 2,580 majors. Master's degree students in this year's class are up 10 percent to 235.

Exterior view Rawls Hall
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Undergraduate classrooms are on Rawls Hall's first floor, and graduate classes are generally on the upper floors. Offices for some of Krannert's faculty members are in the new facility, but offices for the dean, associate deans and their staffs remain in the Krannert Building, which is connected to Rawls Hall by a skywalk and a tunnel.

G. Logan Jordan, the Krannert School's associate dean for administration who was part of planning the facility, said that while there were abstract goals for the building, the bottom line was the students.

"The architects talked about using the building to build a community, and our experience in the building this fall suggests that was successful," Jordan said. "The open space allows faculty and students to stop each other one or two floors away. You have faculty offices on one side of the building, classrooms on the other and breakout rooms on the ends of the building. It really does work like a three-dimensional town square."

Jordan said the facility is learner-centered.

"In Rawls Hall, students can sense they're in a top-notch program," Jordan said. "In the classroom, there are no obstructed views. Faculty members can project multiple images above the whiteboards allowing for a variety of dynamic teaching inputs. This allows teachers to do more comparing and contrasting to demonstrate and amplify material. This makes it easier to explain things."

Interior view Rawls Hall
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Jordan said there were inevitable trade-offs in designing Rawls Hall, "but, finally we chose to put the resources inside. Some exterior views of the building are dramatic, but the interior is what's novel about the building. We gave General Electric Co. executives a tour recently, and they said Rawls was the best training facility – university or corporate – that they had seen."

Tia Cummings, an MBA student who is president of the Krannert Graduate Student Association, said students also like the facility.

"I think all of the students are excited about moving into Rawls Hall," she said. "It is a beautiful, state-of-the-art building that provides an ideal learning and working environment. Finding space for team meetings is no longer an issue with all of the breakout rooms and open areas. I think what I appreciate most, though, is all of the windows that provide natural light. It's just breathtaking."

The building has won an architectural design citation from AS&U magazine's Architectural Portfolio, which cited the building's "center space [that is] inspiring and at the heart of the school. This design uses massive natural lighting and great open space."

The Rawls Hall dedication is part of Homecoming Week events celebrating successes in the $1.3 billion Campaign for Purdue.

The architects for Rawls Hall were Goody, Clancy & Associates of Boston and Scholer Corp. Architects-Engineers of Lafayette. The builder was Wilhelm Construction of Indianapolis.

Writer: Mike Lillich, (765 )494-2077, mlillich@purdue.edu

Sources: Jerry Rawls, jerry.rawls@finisar.com

G. Logan Jordan, (765) 494-4370, jordan@mgmt.purdue.edu

Martin C. Jischke, (765) 494-9708

Richard A. Cosier, (765) 494-4366, rcosier@mgmt.purdue.edu

Tia Cummings, tcumming@mgmt.purdue.edu

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; purduenews@purdue.edu

PHOTO CAPTIONS:
Jerry S. Rawls threw out the first pitch at the "Opening Day" dedication today (Thursday, 10/2) of Jerry S. Rawls Hall, the Krannert School of Management's new facility. The $35 million facility, built completely with private funds, opened for classes this fall. Catching Rawls' pitch is Leighann Burke, a pitcher for the Purdue softball team from Lafayette, Ind., who will graduate from the Krannert School in May 2004. (Purdue News Service photo/David Umberger)

A publication-quality photo is available at http://news.uns.purdue.edu/images/rawls.pitch.jpeg

Jerry S. Rawls, the lead donor for Rawls Hall, the Krannert School of Management's new facility, spoke to faculty, staff, students and alumni at the "Opening Day" dedication of Rawls Hall today (Thursday, 10/2). Rawls, a Krannert School alumnus, is CEO of Finisar Corp., a Silicon Valley optical networking firm. He made the $10 million lead gift to build the facility. Behind Rawls (from left) are Diane Denis, a Krannert School associate professor of finance who was on the Rawls Hall Building Committee; Richard A. Cosier, Krannert School dean and Leeds Professor of Management; and Purdue President Martin C. Jischke. (Purdue News Service photo/David Umberger)

A publication-quality photo is available at http://news.uns.purdue.edu/images/rawls.speech.jpeg

Exterior view of Jerry S. Rawls Hall, the Krannert School of Management's new facility, was dedicated today (Thursday, 10/2). Located on the corner of Grant and State streets, Rawls Hall is connected to the Krannert Building by means of a skywalk and a tunnel. Krannert School alumnus Jerry S. Rawls, CEO of Finisar Corp., a Silicon Valley optical networking company, made the lead $10 million gift for the privately financed building. The building received an architectural design award from Architectural Portfolio. (Purdue News Service photo/David Umberger)

A publication-quality photo is available at http://news.uns.purdue.edu/images/rawls.ext.jpeg

An interior view of Jerry S. Rawls Hall, the Krannert School of Management's new facility, which was dedicated today (Thursday, 10/2). The $35 million, 128,000 square-foot, four-story building, which is technologically state-of-the-art with Internet- and videoconference-enabled classrooms, also is equipped with wireless access points throughout the building. (Purdue News Service photo/David Umberger)

A publication-quality photo is available at http://news.uns.purdue.edu/images/rawls.int.jpeg