Process of changing IPFW to Purdue Fort Wayne ramping up gradually

This sign outside the IPFW Alumni Center also will be changed to Purdue Fort Wayne, but the IPFW legacy will be preserved at the alumni center and at some other locations on campus, a university official said. (By Lisa M. Esquivel Long of News-Sentinel.com)
To convert the IPFW campus to Purdue Fort Wayne, staff will have to replace hundreds of signs, such as this one at the entrance of the Engineering, Technology & Computer Science building. (By Kevin Kilbane of News-Sentinel.com)
Directional signs will have to be replaced as part of IPFW's conversion to a Purdue Fort Wayne campus. (By Kevin Kilbane of News-Sentinel.com)
Signs identifying buildings at IPFW also are located in the green space near them. They are among the signs that will have to be changed when IPFW converts July 1 to separate Purdue University Fort Wayne and Indiana University Fort Wayne programs. (By Kevin Kilbane of News-Sentinel.com)
Some remnants of IPFW, such as this obelisk, may be left on the university's campus after it changes over to mostly Purdue Fort Wayne management and signage. The obelisk, which has "IPFW" cut into its top, is located in the green space between Kettler Hall, Neff Hall and the Engineering, Technology & Computer Science building. (By Kevin Kilbane of News-Sentinel.com)
IPFW signage on campus includes banners hanging from light poles along sidewalks. (By Kevin Kilbane of News-Sentinel.com)

IPFW’s campus still will be wearing its Mastodon blue when current seniors graduate May 9, but signs and other items will change rapidly to Purdue University black and gold soon afterward.

“We don’t want to take away from graduation,” Nicole Hahn, public relations specialist at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, said about the timing of the changes.

The cost estimate for the changeover to Purdue Fort Wayne — which includes everything from building signs to athletic uniforms — remains unclear.

“The transition to the new Purdue Fort Wayne environment is happening at a rapid but controlled pace,” Hahn said. “New projects are identified on almost a daily basis, so the costs continue to be fluid.

“For now, Purdue Fort Wayne is providing funding for the projects and tracking costs,” she said. “There may be a point down the road, however, where we need to assess the viability of covering all of these costs out of university funds or possibly seeking funding from other sources.”

State legislators and the Indiana Commission on Higher Education recommended IPFW be split into separate IU and Purdue campuses. The realignment has been in the planning for months, with a planned effective date of July 1.

The state Higher Learning Commission board of trustees recently gave official approval to the IPFW realignment and the July 1 effective date.

As of July 1, IU will manage all health sciences programs offered at the current IPFW campus. Purdue will manage all other academic programs, in addition to operating and maintaining campus buildings and facilities.

“Some things have already started changing to the Purdue University Fort Wayne brand,” Hahn said. “For instance, we have been including the new logo and gold-and-black colors for several months as we have been recruiting the first incoming class of students who will enter Purdue University Fort Wayne this fall.”

Other highly visible aspects of IPFW — such as campus signage, the university website, advertising and various other things related to Purdue Fort Wayne branding — also will receive priority for conversion to Purdue Fort Wayne, Hahn said. That includes faculty and staff email addresses, which reportedly already are beginning the conversion process.

But completing all of that work will take some time.

“Though July 1 is the effective date of the realignment agreement, it won’t be as simple as flipping a switch,” Hahn said.

Signs that must be replaced include directional signs, street signs and signs pointing people to specific buildings, she said.

Hahn anticipates the large signs at major campus entrances will be changed to Purdue University Fort Wayne in late May or early June. Signs at the alumni center on California Road also will be changed to Purdue University Fort Wayne.

Existing signs will be repainted or repurposed, so there won’t be any IPFW signs sold or given away as memorabilia, she said.

“The IPFW legacy will be preserved at the Alumni Center and at other locations on campus,” Hahn said. “We are being very thoughtful and respectful as we make these decisions.”

Those decisions include the obelisk in the green space between Kettler Hall, Neff Hall and the Engineering, Technology & Computer Science building, which has “IPFW” cut into its top.

“At this point, the obelisk will be kept as is in its current location,” she said.

Uniforms for the university’s Fort Wayne Mastodons athletic teams also will change to reflect the new Purdue identity, but specifics aren’t available yet, Hahn said. More details about the look of uniforms should be available this summer.

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