Purdue North Central nets record gift for new building
By Carole Carlson email@example.com/302-0949 December 4, 2013 3:38PM
After a $1 million gift from Dr. Peter Kesling and his wife, Charlene, the gymnasium at the planned Student Services and Activities Center Complex at Purdue University North Central will be named after Dr. Kesling's grandfather, H.D. Kesling. | Provided
Updated: January 6, 2014 12:59PM
WESTVILLE — A local orthodontist has handed Purdue University North Central its largest cash gift ever — $1 million toward construction of a $34.7 million Student Services and Activities Center Complex.
University officials on Wednesday announced the donation from Dr. Peter Kesling and his wife, Charlene.
“This gift is a turning point for Purdue North Central,” said Chancellor James Dworkin. “The Kesling name will be a permanent part of the building and will serve as a daily reminder to our students, staff, faculty and guests of the Keslings’ support and their commitment to PNC and our community.”
The gift gives the Keslings naming rights to the SSAC gymnasium, which will be called the “H.D. Kesling Gymnasium” in honor of Kesling’s father.
H.D. Kesling developed the family’s orthodontic center back in 1959 when it was surrounded by cornfields. In 1967, Purdue North Central opened, directly east of the office, near the interchange of U.S. 421 and the Indiana Toll Road.
Kesling said his father was an outstanding high school basketball player in Logansport and played on a team that made it to the 1918-19 state quarterfinals.
“When recounting those days, he always added the fact that he was not a good student and the only reason he buckled down and raised his grades was so that he could be eligible to play,” he said. Kesling said basketball made it possible for his father to attend college.
Groundbreaking on the new building is set for October 2014, with completion expected in 2016. The state is providing $24.7 million and student activities fees will generate $6.3 million. PNC fund raising will bring in the remaining $3.7 million, according to a university release.