As a “going away” gift, of sorts, a portion of State Street in West Lafayette has been renamed Mitch Daniels Boulevard as a tribute to the university president who will step away from the post later this month. The city and university trustees agreed to the name change as a tribute to Daniels’ leadership and service.
The announcement was made Friday as part of MitchFest, a celebration of Daniels time at the university.
“Renaming State Street Mitch Daniels Boulevard acknowledges the role he and (West Lafayette) Mayor (John) Dennis had in reconstructing this road and the way it promoted extensive development on the west end of our campus, including the Continuum, Convergence and Provenance developments, and expansion of Discovery Park District at Purdue,“ said Purdue Board of Trustees Chair Michael Berghoff.
The State Street Redevelopment Project included turning the street into two-way traffic, but also included investments of over $700 million in new high-rise apartment buildings. The project began in June 2016 and was completed in fall 2018.
Daniels Boulevard will run from Grant Street through the campus and culminating at U.S. 231.
In addition to the street renaming, the trustees approved an emeritus package for Daniels, who will become Purdue President Emeritus as of Jan. 1, 2023.
While Daniels is leaving the presidency, he has agreed to serve as chair of the Purdue Research Foundation.
The board also agreed to a $25 million project to renovate multiple floors of the Mechanical Engineering Building to accommodate the enrollment growth in the College of Engineering. The 41,000-square-foot-project includes improved labs, classrooms, and collaboration space.
The university says the project, which is scheduled to begin next summer, will be paid for by gift funds.
The trustees also gave approval to preliminary steps to build a 370-bed, on-campus dormitory on the Purdue-Fort Wayne campus. The university says further, final approvals will be sought later.
The board of trustees approved naming the Minority Engineering Program within the College of Engineering for Don and Liz Thompson. Both graduated from the university with electrical engineering degrees in the mid-1980s.
The MEP began in 1974 to improve diversity and inclusion in the College of Engineering.