Sun shines on Oct. 9 Grissom Hall Celebration
Indiana Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann (BSIE, 1982), Purdue President Mitch Daniels, John A. Edwardson Dean of the College of Engineering Leah Jamieson, and James J. Solberg Head of Industrial Engineering Head Abhi Deshmukh each spoke briefly before the four joined together to light a “ReThink IE” display. Other dignitaries included Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski and Rep. Sheila Klinker, who joined IE alumni, donors and friends in rededicating the “new” Grissom Hall. Grissom was originally built in 1906, enlarged in 1927, and last renovated in 1964.
Before the ceremony, IE alumni were invited to explore the reimagined Grissom and to discuss the School of Industrial Engineering's “ReThink IE” initiative. Following the ceremony, IE held an Open House and building tours.
The Grissom Hall project is part of Daniels' Purdue Moves effort, which includes expansion of Purdue Engineering as one of its major priorities. Grissom Hall's reinvention also is one phase of the College of Engineering Strategic Growth Initiative project, an effort to integrate increasing undergraduate and graduate enrollments, new faculty hires and encourage collaboration.
"The new Grissom will revolutionize how our students work, collaborate and study," said Abhijit Deshmukh, James J. Solberg Head and Professor of Industrial Engineering.
The repurposed space includes a striking visual focal point for the building and the school - the Peter Wang Student Excellence Center on the first floor. The majority of the changes add light and improve space usage, particularly with a "hot desking" style of desk sharing for graduate and undergraduate students. With this system, more students are able to use the available space and collaboration is facilitated.
The building is named for the late Virgil I. "Gus" Grissom, one of the original NASA Project Mercury astronauts and the second American to fly in space. He was killed with two other astronauts, including Purdue Engineering alumnus Roger Chaffee, during a pre-launch test for the Apollo 1 mission at the then-Cape Kennedy Air Force Station in Florida in 1967, and was posthumously awarded the Congressional Space Medal of Honor. A veteran of World War II and the Korean War, Grissom graduated from Purdue with a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering in 1950.