By Aziza Jackson
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. — Last May, Linda and Mike Mussallem stood in the sunshine outside a renovated and expanded student union at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology to cut the ribbon on this major campus enhancement. The project would not have been possible without their support: the Mussallems provided the $9 million lead gift for the $25 million project.
The institute recently announced an additional $1.5 million gift from the Mussallems to provide an adjacent pavilion for outdoor dining and gatherings with sliding glass doors around the perimeter and plants on the roof. Situated just a stone’s throw from where the couple helped dedicate Mussallem Union also known as “The Muzz,” the pavilion will provide seating for 40-50 people and be usable nearly year-round, allowing for protection from the elements during cooler months and the ability to enjoy the outdoors via open walls during warmer weather.
The Mussallems’ newest gift will cover design, construction and equipment costs for the free-standing pavilion that will complement the nearby student center and White Chapel. The structure also will have audio-visual equipment for multimedia presentations, including student movie nights and other gatherings. Included in the project will be an outdoor grill for use during student events.
Sustainable green space filled with plants will cover a portion of the building’s roof and will be visible from the second floor of the Mussallem Union. This provides continuity with the large living wall that serves as a featured focal point in The Muzz consisting of potted tropical plants that provides a soothing atmosphere for students in the Hulman Living Room.
“We’re grateful that Linda and Mike continue to share our vision for enhancing the overall student experience,” said Rose-Hulman President Robert A. Coons. “The gleaming new student union has already exceeded all of our expectations for providing students with relaxation and socialization space, and healthy dining options. The place is busy at all hours; students love hanging out there. This new pavilion will extend those benefits and ensure that our students — who work extremely hard — have the spaces they need to unwind and recharge with their friends.”
The pavilion was designed by RATIO Architects of Indianapolis, which also designed the student union project. Construction of the outdoor structure is expected to begin this spring with completion in time for dedication at Rose-Hulman’s homecoming in October.