Get ReConnected - July 2016


1965 Grad, Former Hall Counselor Gives Back

Bob Lohrey’s entire Purdue experience and ultimately his career path hinged on one night on campus. Lohrey pledged a fraternity and decided at the last minute that it wasn’t for him, and moved to Wiley Hall instead. He then lived in Wiley for four years with the same roommate, and paid for graduate school by serving as a hall counselor at Owen Hall, attributing his successful career in manufacturing and consulting to the additional education and exposure gained through his residential campus background.

 “The experience of being a counselor was very, very good,” Lohrey said. “Tuition was covered. My parents told me they're not going to give me a dime toward graduate school. I wouldn’t have gotten even a penny from them. The money from the hall essentially got me a master’s degree.”

Lohrey was active in Wiley’s Excalibur Club, serving as the club’s social secretary. He finished his degree in industrial engineering and 1965, and was hired as a hall counselor for his graduate year partly by chance. Former Purdue associate director of residence halls Bill Berner asked Lohrey to apply after another counselor left.

“The guy before me quit because he was put between four different football players, and three of them were pure problems. But I got over that. I handled them as adults, and I think it was a growing experience,” Lohrey said.

Lohrey completed his master of science in industrial engineering in 1966, after five years of living in University Residences. Now he’s giving back to University Residences, donating to the RAISE Fund that helps provide tuition remission for resident assistants, both undergraduates and graduates, so that they’re afforded the same opportunities that helped him in his Purdue career and beyond.

“Being a counselor enabled me to get a master’s, and getting that master’s degree was very important for my career. Everywhere I went I could get interviews for a job,” Lohrey said. “I wanted to go into manufacturing for five years and then become a consultant, and that’s exactly what I did.”

Lohrey retired early so he could spend more time with family, and he and his wife Joan travel to West Lafayette annually from their home in Cincinnati to watch Purdue football.

Writer: Matt Watson 


Honors College and ResidencesHonors College and Residences Nears August Opening

With just weeks remaining until the Honors College and Residences welcomes its first residents in August, the job site is lined with boom lifts and workers in hard hats as Messer Construction puts the finishing touches on Purdue’s newest residence hall. The project will wrap in just 20 months since the January 2015 groundbreaking.

The first shipment of the building’s furniture arrived July 5, with the rest scheduled for the latter half of the month. University Residences’ facilities staff have been inside the hall preparing residential areas on and off since June, cleaning to stay ahead of the furniture deliveries. The newly-hired team is a mixture of transfers from other halls and new employees.

“The service staff has been hired, trained, and has begun cleaning and getting the building ready,” said Tom Paczolt, associate director of capital planning for University Residences. “There are some transfers (from other halls), but over half are new facilities staff. A few are former employees who had left the university and come back.”

The top priority is getting student rooms ready for August. The Residential Life staff, including 23 resident assistants, is scheduled to move in the first week of August, with the majority of the building’s 824 new residents following Aug. 15-16 during Boiler Gold Rush move-in.

“Like all large projects, some things have not gone the way we would have liked them to have gone,” said Paczolt. “There have been some delays, and it’s coming down to the wire, but contractors are working extra days and extra shifts to make sure everything is ready.”

The Honors College and Residences is a first-of-its-kind project at Purdue that will intentionally integrate academics into the residential experience more than any University Residences facility ever has. The partnership with the Purdue Honors College provides students a place to live and learn alongside an entire community of those committed to the highest academic achievement.

The 345,000-square foot facility consists of north and south buildings, adjoined by an underground tunnel on the basement level. The first floor houses Honors College offices for the dean, faculty and support staff as well as a STEAM (Science, Tech, Engineering, Arts and Agriculture, Math) class lab, and a Computer Col-lab (the next generation of computer lab encouraging student interaction). There is also an Honors Hall with seating for more than 400 for presentations, lectures, and when not reserved for an activity, group and individual studying.

The Honors College and Residences also features multiple large and small study rooms, reading rooms, recreational lounges, community living rooms and retail dining operation Così, a restaurant that serves flatbreads, pizza, soups and salads. An “innovation forum” in the front lobby of the northern building features one of the most unique aspects of the facility, an electronic floor with interactive video capabilities in the floor that was designed by Purdue students.

On the exterior of the project, there is a fire pit with seating for 30-40 people in the courtyard of the north building, which faces the courtyard encapsulated by Vawter and Warren Halls in the Windsor complex. There are also plans for sidewalk seating outside of Così, which sits on Third Street, and Second Street that runs between the north and south buildings into Windsor Halls will be permanently closed except during move in and move out.

Purdue President Mitch Daniels will headline the Honors College and Residences building dedication on Sept. 9.

Writer: Matt Watson


Marinna Davidson

Student Spotlight

UR Alumni and Guest Center Tour Guide Does It All

When asked what classification she is at Purdue, Marinna Davidson has a complicated answer. She’s about to be a third-year student, but a sophomore in her program after changing majors, with enough academic credits to be a senior. Because the Spencerville, Ind., native does it all.

The summer before her third year at Purdue, Davidson has already been involved in Purdue Alumni Student Experience (PASE), Reamer Club, the American Sign Language (ASL) Club, and the Higher Ground Dance Company. She’s also an Exploratory Studies mentor and Honors College mentor, and she helped start the official Purdue baseball student section, the Foul Patrol, before last season.

“I’m not a very decisive person, and I don’t like making decisions without thinking about them for a very long time. When I do make decisions, I like to give everything 110 percent,” Davidson said. “Sometimes I’m stretched a little thin, but I absolutely love it. You only go through college once, so I might as well make myself as busy as possible.”

In addition to her extracurricular activity (to which she’s adding the Athletic Training Club this fall), she’s taking up one of the most difficult-to-enter majors at Purdue, the Athletic Training program, which accepted just 12 students for the upcoming class.

“They start out with 100 people (in a year-long pre-Athletic Training curriculum), and by the time they accept people they only take 15 at most,” Davidson said.

So giving residence hall tours to campus visitors might be the easiest part of her Purdue experience. She knows her way around campus pretty well, having lived in Shreve Hall, Hillenbrand Hall, and now Third Street Suites this upcoming year. She credits her freshman year resident assistant in Shreve with getting her more interested in residential life and making her want to stay on campus as a resident.

In addition to tours, she represents the UR Alumni and Guest Center at information fairs, where she enjoys talking with individual families instead of “talking at” big tour groups. One of her favorite tours in her three semesters on the job was taking a 94-year-old alumnus to his old room in Cary.

“I like being a tour guide because I get to talk to a lot of people. It’s exciting to hear where everyone is from and learn about their experiences and why they want to come to Purdue,” she said.

For a tour with Purdue’s busiest Boilermaker, arrange a visit through the UR Alumni and Guest Center website.

Writer: Matt Vader | Editors: Tammy Loew, Renee Kashawlic, Danielle Fawbush

Editorial Board: Barb Frazee, Tammy Loew, Renee Kashawlic | Inquiries Contact:

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