McGinley Plaza and Fountain

The fountain and plaza are dedicated to J. Timothy McGinley, an Indianapolis businessman who has served for two decades on Purdue’s board of trustees. The plaza’s design, created by David Young from the firm Second Globe, incorporates math, geometry and science, and shows how these disciplines relate to natural phenomena. One of the key themes is the ancient Indian numerical sequence used by the Italian Renaissance mathematician Fibonacci. This sequence can describe a logarithmic spiral, found in many natural elements from nautilus shells to sunflower seed heads. The fountain’s design also incorporates the Fibonacci sequence in the stone dimensions on the water cascade at its base, in the metal armature that supports the glass, and in the glass itself as images of Purdue spiral across its face. The fountain and its glass imagery were designed by Eric Ernstberger. The iconic features from Purdue’s campus include Ross-Ade Stadium, the Bell Tower, the Purdue Memorial Union, Hovde Hall, Mackey Arena and Neil Armstrong Hall. Greg Thompson of GRT Glass sandblasted the images and had the glass curved, tempered and laminated. The water runs over the glass, and both are illuminated by LED lights, which rotate through a spectrum of colors at night. More Information About McGinley Plaza and the Fountain.

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