This is the PhD lounge at the Tepper School of Business which serves a number of purposes.
The Tepper School of Business is housed in a building whose plan is among the strangest when it comes to buildings, or most other things for that matter. The entire school has two structures, the Posner Hall and the GSIA building, one behind the other (even I can’t remember which one is which, just imagine). It is through this PhD lounge that exists a key link between these two parts of the school. That is the lounge’s first purpose. The building plan is so confusing, on any random day, many hapless first time visitors can be seen going up and down either Posner or GSIA, with no idea on how to get to the other side. It would have been like an alternate universe had it not been for this nice PhD lounge serving as the physical link.
The second purpose of the lounge comes alive on Mondays and Thursdays. These are the days when Laila and Lawrence at the PhD office, take a lot of pain to set up food, drinks, tea and coffee in the lounge from 3 to 4 PM. These are the times when the Tepper Tea happens – a free get-together of PhD’s and faculty at the school to sit down, relax and chit chat over all the food and drinks. As a side note, chocolate candy during tea times is my personal favorite.
The third, and more continuous purpose of the lounge, is to serve as a place where the PhD students come out from their offices for a change of scene, to catch some fresh air, but to still crunch their numbers and discuss their experiments. The glass boards on the side wall of the lounge are usually full of cryptic equations coming out of research papers and academic dreams, and a few people can almost always be found next to the glass boards, scribbling away and discussing stuff passionately. I wish I had a picture of the glass board all full of the symbols for this post, but unfortunately, I don’t.
The PhD lounge sort of holds not only the professional lives of the students together, but as you saw earlier, it literally holds the building together as well. The architectural equivalent of a cool guy if ever there was one.