Last fall marked 75 years since the completion of Cary Quad, Purdue’s first residence hall and the beginning of residential living program that is now one of the largest in the country for a school that doesn’t require students to live on campus.

Students, alumni and staff gathered at a Spitzer Court cookout after a Purdue football game in September and then again the next morning for a brunch program at Ford Dining Court.

Tom Paczolt, former Cary general manager and current associate director for University Residences Planning & Construction Management, emceed the Sunday event while Vice Provost for Student Life Beth McCuskey gave the introductory remarks.

“In 75 years since Cary Quad was completed, it has housed astronauts and athletes and everyone in between,” McCuskey said. “It stands between Ross-Ade Stadium and the Neil Armstrong Hall of Engineering. It is everything Purdue stands for – a close-knit community and a well-rounded education.

“From the name plates mounted on residents’ doors for graduating seniors to the names carved in tables around the facility, Cary Quad has always had a strong and personal effect on students.”

McCuskey was followed by recognition of former Cary resident Frank Owen and his family. University Residences named Owen a distinguished alumnus as the first resident of Cary Quad Southwest 201 in 1939. Owen returned to visit Cary in 2012, 70 years after he graduated from Purdue.

Cary Quad 75th Sign

The audience was then treated to consecutive speeches from Cary Club presidents –  senior Adam Rice, the current leader of the historic club, and John Pickett, the Cary Club president 50 years ago.

“I was just thinking…I put on my past Cary Club president pin. I still have something that fits!” Pickett said.

Sophomore resident assistant Max Leeds was one of several current students who attended the event. He gave a tour to a group of about 10 former Cary RAs, who attended the event together.

“This was the first time a lot of them had seen each other for a while, and it was great to see that kind of reunion,” Leeds said. “I thought it was cool to hear from alumni, and I think that’s important, especially living in a hall that has so much history behind it.”

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

Editorial Board: Barb Frazee, Tammy Loew | Inquiries Contact: studentlifemarketing@purdue.edu