September 9, 2016

Purdue dedicates $90 million academic residential college

Rhonda Phillips Rhonda Phillips, dean of the Purdue Honors College, has reason to smile as she speaks at the dedication ceremony for the new Honors College and Residences on Friday (Sept. 9). (Purdue University photo/John Underwood) Download image

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue University on Friday (Sept. 9) dedicated the  $90 million Honors College and Residences, the first of its kind in Indiana and among the nation's most advanced academic residential colleges. 

The design for the 324,000-square-foot facility is the result of research about how high-ability students learn. It houses more than 800 students and is also home to the college itself, serving as a centralized hub for its administration and academic programs. Scholars are just steps away from their professors, advisers, the STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and agriculture, math) research lab and state-of-the-art "active learning" studios. They study in shared spaces aimed at fostering interaction and collaboration.

"The Honors College and Residences completely intertwines a student's residential and academic experience, so they stay engaged," said Rhonda Phillips, Honors College dean. "The learning and leadership opportunities for students will be second to none. We are forging the future of honors education." 

Purdue President Mitch Daniels joined Beth McCuskey, vice provost for student life, and Phillips in making remarks during the ceremony.

"The Honors College and Residences will create learning and leadership opportunities for students ready to commit to its rigor and academic challenge," Daniels said. "This facility embodies Purdue's commitment to academic excellence, collaborative spirit and intellectual growth."

Construction for the Honors College and Residences began in January 2015. The building utilized locally sourced materials and is seeking LEED certification. The LEED rating system is the foremost program for buildings that are designed, constructed, maintained and operated for improved environmental and human health performance.

Notable spaces include the Innovation Forum, with an interactive, programmable floor; the Computer Co-Lab, with bicycles that power laptops; an edible garden and the "crown jewel" of the Honors College, the Honors Hall.  With its massive windows, a coffered ceiling, stage and space for nearly 300 people, the hall will serve as a central gathering point for programs and college functions.

About Purdue Honors College

The Honors College, which admitted its inaugural class in 2013, brings together students from all areas of study across campus, along with faculty, staff, alumni and organizational partners, in pursuit of academic excellence. Fostering transformative scholar and leadership development, the college is a community of scholars who learn together and explore ways to connect to Purdue and to the world beyond through engaged service. 

Contact: Lindsay Perrault, Purdue Honors College, 920-585-1888,

Sources: Mitch Daniels,

Rhonda Phillips, 765-494-2929,

Purdue University, 610 Purdue Mall, West Lafayette, IN 47907, (765) 494-4600

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