Long-Distance Drive: A Tale of Commitment

Page designed the new Shocker Hall student housing and dining facility at Wichita State University that just opened to great fanfare. It was a significant project for both the university and for Page in that the 330,000 square foot hall elevates the student experience while remaining connected to the original collegiate Georgian architecture of the late 1800s. Joe Hickman, Page Designer and Wichita State project team member, made an architectural model by hand – a rarity in today’s world of 3-D printers – as a gift for John Bardo, president of the university. What started as a commemorative gesture turned into a true example of commitment.

When the Page senior principals affirmed the firm's core values of creativity, collaboration and commitment, they likely never envisioned the lengths to which one of their employees would go for a client. Although Joe knew from experience how much personal time the model likely would take to build, he began to realize partway during the process the model would need to travel with greater care than he trusted to shipping services. Due to airline restrictions, there was no guarantee that it would be able to travel as carry-on luggage from Denver to Wichita, Kansas. So, Joe doubled up his workweek and left the office Thursday night to make the eight-hour one-way drive to Wichita in time for the Shocker Hall grand opening ceremony the following day. 

In the morning, he put a few finishing touches on the model before the grand opening ceremony, which was very well attended with media present to cover it. His gift was presented to President Bardo during the event, then afterward he was asked to join university officials and the contractor team for an impromptu celebration. In his words, "[It] was quite a success – very well attended -  and I’m really glad I made the trip."  

The 16-hour round trip notwithstanding, this was an architect's dream ending to a fantastic project. Congratulations to the Page project team and thank you to Joe for showing Wichita State how committed we are!


Contributed By

Joseph Hickman