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Student Innovation Center Being Named to Honor Former President Matt Branam

May 26, 2012

  Commitment To Innovation: Matt Branam wanted the Student Innovation Center to be a modern day "garage of innovation."

This tribute mentioned in Channel 10 story.

Matt Branam will forever have a legacy at his alma mater, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, as the Board of Trustees has voted unanimously to name the new Student Innovation Center in honor of the institute's 14th president.

The facility, which opened last fall, is an incubator for creativity and collaboration from student competition teams. It was developed by Branam to be a modern day "garage of innovation."

"The Branam Innovation Center will serve as a permanent reminder of the contributions President Matt Branam made to the institute," stated Interim President Robert Coons in making the announcement during Rose-Hulman's 134th commencement on May 26.

"The facility will now forever represent President Branam's commitment to innovation, and will inspire future Rose-Hulman students," stated Coons.  "Honoring President Branam in this way was originally suggested by our students, and was met with unanimous support by our trustees."

Branam died unexpectedly on April 20. He was a Terre Haute native who earned a bachelor's degree in civil engineering from Rose-Hulman in 1979. After a successful career as a business executive and consultant, he returned to his alma mater to serve as Rose-Hulman's president in 2009.

The Student Innovation Center was one of Branam's many accomplishments during his tenure as campus leader. The 16,000-square-foot facility is home to several student competition teams that are part of the college's Advanced Transportation Systems (ATS) Program.  The facility has already helped some of those teams during its first year. The Human Powered Vehicle race team won the American Society of Mechanical Engineers' 2012 East Coast Regional, the Formula SAE race team placed a strong 15th in this year's Society of Automotive Engineers' annual competition, and the EcoCAR2 team recently passed its first-year design challenge.