August is here and with it, another school year for Rose-Hulman is right around the corner. We will welcome freshmen on August 24 and classes will begin across campus on August 30. We have been in operation for almost 150 years, and have been on our current campus nearly 100 years. During that time, we have grown and changed with the times considerably.
The past few years alone have seen significant developments on our campus, but more change is on the way so that we can continue to deliver the high-quality education for which we are known worldwide. I’m particularly excited about our newly dedicated Mussallem Union, and two other facilities that are designed to support best practices in engineering education. One of those is our “bridge building,” so named because it bridges the academic and co-curricular realms by offering both academic and project spaces. Construction is well underway on that structure, which is scheduled for dedication in October. Within this space, students will be able to attend labs, utilize a new Maker Space, and work on projects and project teams. Faculty, staff and students will begin fully utilizing the space beginning with the Winter Quarter.
We will begin site preparations for a new academic building this fall, with groundbreaking scheduled for October as part of our Homecoming activities. The majority of the new three-story building will be flexible learning and classroom spaces, with the top floor housing our chemistry laboratories—a state-of-the-art complex replete with flexible teaching space, lab prep areas, and of course, top-notch chemistry equipment. Construction of this building will take almost three years to complete, but plans are already in the works for just how the flexible
learning areas will be utilized to help us continue to bring the world’s best STEM education to our students. We have been fortunate enough to have obtained funding for this project from generous donors and friends of Rose-Hulman.
Mussallem Union, which was dedicated this past May, will experience its first full year of operation following a two-year construction period. With a flexible room-scheduling process, it is anticipated that the Union, and its various meeting and relaxation spaces, will be one of the most visited and utilized buildings on campus. And, I should note that these excellent facilities are available for scheduling by outside groups.
These new projects will be transformational for Rose-Hulman. Meanwhile, we are just beginning to explore possible uses for our newly acquired acreage to the south of campus that was once home to Mari Hulman George. My wife, Angela, and I have moved into the new president’s residence, which we have named Hulman House. While some academic activity is beginning to take place on the new property, it is still not open for general campus or public use due to a variety of factors, including security.
Meanwhile, our main campus is abuzz with activity, with students settling in and an exciting new performing arts season soon to debut in Hatfield Hall. I hope you get the chance to catch one of those programs during the coming school year or attend another event at Rose-Hulman soon, so that you can see all that is happening on the east side of Terre Haute!
Dr. James C. Conwell is the President of Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.