By Rick Morwick
Fred Luddy briefly attended Indiana University in the early 1970s before moving to Silicon Valley and founding a multi-million dollar software company.
Although he was only enrolled a short time, Luddy has left an indelible legacy at IU.
On April 13, the university conducted a dedication ceremony for Luddy Hall, a new $39.8 million home for IU’s School of Informatics, Computics and Engineering. The 124,000-square-foot building opened in January and is named in honor of Luddy, a former Carmel resident, and his family.
Luddy, 62, is the founder of ServiceNow, a cloud computing company in Santa Clara, Calif. A San Diego resident, he donated $8 million to the Luddy Hall project. More than a dozen of his family members, including both parents, his sister and two brothers, are IU alumni.
Luddy’s mother, Mariol Luddy, was among the many family members who attended the dedication ceremony, which was part of a weeklong celebration called “LuddyFest.” Guest speakers included IU President Michael A. McRobbie, IU Bloomington Provost Lauren Robel and Fred Luddy.
“The dedication was totally awesome,” said Mariol, who lives in The Barrington of Carmel retirement community. “(Fred) did a wonderful job speaking. He’s been extremely successful, extremely, and he’s very generous.”
A member of IU’s Dean’s Advisory Council, Fred Luddy founded ServiceNow in 2004. Having previously served as its president and CEO, he is now its chief product officer. He supported the Luddy Hall project because of his ties to IU and his belief that Indiana is on the cusp of becoming a global leader in technological innovation.
“The structure has exceeded all expectations. The drawings were magnificent, but to see it in person, I just might finish my undergraduate work,” Luddy said during the dedication ceremony. “The shine has come off Silicon Valley. It’s too expensive. It’s not a good place to live, and I think that we have such an opportunity here to become such a hub of innovation. In Indiana, it should be our turn now.”
Completed within a 27-month timeframe from conception to dedication, Luddy Hall has, among other state-of-the-art amenities, 15 classrooms and labs; a 1,360-square-foot student community center; a 3,500-square-foot innovation center; 31 interview rooms; a courtyard; a 1,500-square foot collaboration center; a 160-seat collaborative auditorium; 19 conference and focus rooms; and a public cafe.
“We are profoundly grateful to Fred Luddy for his extraordinarily generous gift,” McRobbie said during the 2015 ground-breaking ceremony. “(It is) testament to his belief in providing students with the skills they need to succeed and instilling in them the values and principles that will guide them in their careers and lives.”