Purdue University Earhart Hall

West Lafayette, Indiana

Long-time client Purdue University engaged Rowland Design to create an energetic and holistic focal point to the public entrance of Earhart Hall. The residence hall, which opened in 1964, was named after famous aviatrix Amelia Earhart who first came to Purdue University when the campus had an enrollment of 4,700 students and one residence hall for women. In 1936, Amelia joined the Purdue staff. She began an association with the University in a dual role as consultant in careers for women and as technical advisor to the Department of Aeronautics. Famous for her contributions to Aeronautical Research with “flying laboratories”, Miss Earhart made two attempts at an around-the-world flight. On her second try, Amelia disappeared on July 2, 1937 when her plane presumably crashed near Howland Island in the Pacific Ocean.  

Collaborating with the University’s Collections Department,  Rowland Design created a multi-faceted display that celebrates the life accomplishments of Amelia Earhart and her close connection with Purdue University. A single wall-mounted display case holding Earhart archives was updated to a more energetic and relevant display.  Existing wood elements support the press release describing Amelia’s disappearance. A large graphic image of Amelia was installed to further enhance her presence. Viewed as both artwork and educational, the graphics provide a concise and relevant story of Amelia Earhart’s legacy.