While Tim Sands is now Purdue’s acting president, the beautiful mansion that sits across from the intramural fields will be without a presidential resident for the next six months.
The name of the house is Westwood, and besides housing Purdue’s presidents and their family, it also acts as a place for business meetings and entertainment. Anthony Cawdron, house manager and event coordinator of Westwood, knows that while there won’t be a president residing at the home, the house will still be used quite often.
“There’s no limit to when Westwood will be used,” Cawdron said. “When a president leaves, we get a window to do some updating and maintenance. When you have someone living in, it’s hard to do something with the heating and electrical systems. Coordinating those things really doesn’t make sense when someone is living there.”
Other things that will happen at the house during the next six months include visits from president-designate Mitch Daniels to see what he would like to do with the house. Acting president Tim Sands and his family will also be utilizing Westwood for entertainment purposes, but won’t actually move into the home.
“We’ll be there pretty frequently,” Sands said. “This will be an opportunity to make some repairs while the usage of it is a little lighter.”
Though Sands will use the house for his own purposes, Daniels will be the third residing president who Cawdron will be working with at Westwood. For Cawdron, getting used to the personalities of each president makes for the president leaving Westwood a sad experience.
“You get very attached to whoever is there,” Cawdron said. “You see much more than just a meeting or office, you really are in their home ... Whenever that happens, it’s a big change because they’re no longer in the space anymore, especially for the next six months because it will feel empty.”
While Westwood won’t be used as often as when a president is living there, Cawdron thinks that Westwood will still have the special feeling to it who many say it has.
“It still has a cache of being special. Not anyone can use it, you have to be invited there,” Cawdron said. “We’ve had people coin the phrase, ‘Westwood is the best restaurant you can’t get a reservation for.’”