I am incredibly proud for our team to have been part of the transformation of Depauw University's Roy O. West Library, my alma mater. This project allowed us to blend the legacy of the past with the innovation of the future, creating a space that not only reflects our rich history but also serves as a dynamic hub for students and faculty. It's a testament to the enduring spirit of DePauw." 

Mary Beth Oakes,
DePauw University Class of 1990 and
CEO of Business Furniture + Co


Business Furniture + Co was involved in every space of this four-floor renovation project, with the exception of areas dedicated to book stacks. The scope of their work encompassed the following spaces:

  • Active learning classrooms
  • Study halls
  • Conference rooms
  • Private and shared offices

Spaces Included in the Renovation

RATIO Design  

The DePauw University Roy O. West Library renovation aimed to modernize and revamp this historical building to meet the technological and functional needs of today's campus population. Led by VP of Business Development, Rebecca Dean and designer, Jeff Schwind, key project drivers included upgrading classrooms, creating more collaborative study areas, improving student resources, and adding executive meeting spaces. By serving these multiple purposes, the reinvented library remains a pivotal location connecting students, faculty, staff, and visitors at the university's epicenter.

92,602 sq. ft.


Purpose of the Renovation

  • Open workstations
  • Ancillary spaces
  • Dining areas
  • Outdoor furniture spaces


DePauw University Roy O. West Library Renovation

Choice of Colors and Finishes


  • West Elm Sterling Chair
  • Coalesse Sistema Lounge
  • Answer Fence by Steelcase
  • Steelcase Slim-Leg Height-Adjustable Desk
  • Currency Enhanced

Choice of Colors and Finishes

Key factors in the choice of colors and finishes included:

  • Reading Room and Donor Spaces: A mature, executive color palette was used, featuring greens, grays, and rich wood tones to create an elegant and regal ambiance.
  • Public Study Spaces and Private Rooms: These areas featured a more varied color palette, intentionally incorporating DePauw's signature gold, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere.
  • Classrooms and Technology Spaces: Vibrant electric blues and yellows were chosen, reflecting the energy and innovation of these spaces, as inspired by the late Lee Tenzer, a significant DePauw donor.

Watching the excitement on students' faces as they walked in the library on reopening day, January 2023, will always stand out as a high point on campus. The building is heavily used throughout the day and there is hardly a time that all 17 study rooms are not in use.

Dean of Libraries Depauw University

Brooke Cox