|Established||May 6, 1869|
|Endowment||US$2.002 billion in 2012 (systemwide)|
|President||Mitchell E. Daniels Jr.|
|Provost||Timothy D. Sands|
|Students||39,726 (Fall 2010)|
|Undergraduates||30,836 (Fall 2010)|
|Postgraduates||7,980 (Fall 2010)|
|Location||West Lafayette, Indiana, US|
|Campus||Large town: 2,474 acres (10.01 km2)
plus 15,108 acres (61.14 km2) for agricultural and industrial research
|Athletics||18 Division I / IA NCAA teams|
|Colors||Old Gold and Black|
|Affiliations||Purdue University system
Association of American Universities
Committee on Institutional Cooperation
Purdue University, located in West Lafayette, Indiana, is the flagship university of the six-campus Purdue University system. Purdue was founded on May 6, 1869, as a land-grant university when the Indiana General Assembly, taking advantage of the Morrill Act, accepted a donation of land and money from Lafayette businessman John Purdue to establish a college of science, technology, and agriculture in his name. The first classes were held on September 16, 1874, with six instructors and 39 students. Today, Purdue is a member of the Big Ten Conference, and is a well known world-class research institution. Purdue enrolls the second largest student body of any university in Indiana as well as the fourth largest international student population of any university in the United States.
Purdue offers both undergraduate and graduate programs in over 211 major areas of study, and is well known for its competitive engineering curricula. The university has also been highly influential in America's history of aviation, having established the first college credit offered in flight training, the first four-year bachelor's degree in aviation, and the first university airport (Purdue University Airport). Purdue's aviation technology program remains one of the most competitive aviation-specific programs in the world. In the mid-20th century, Purdue's aviation program expanded to encompass advanced spaceflight technology giving rise to Purdue's nickname, Cradle of Astronauts. Twenty-three Purdue graduates have gone on to become astronauts, including Gus Grissom (one of the original Mercury Seven astronauts), Neil Armstrong (the first person to walk on the moon), and Eugene Cernan (the most recent person to walk on the moon).
In 1865, the Indiana General Assembly voted to take advantage of the Morrill Land-Grant Colleges Act of 1862, and began plans to establish an institution with a focus on agriculture and engineering. Communities throughout the state offered their facilities and money to bid for the location of the new college. Popular proposals included the addition of an agriculture department at Indiana University or at what is now Butler University. By 1869, Tippecanoe County’s offer included $150,000 from Lafayette business leader and philanthropist John Purdue, $50,000 from the county, and 100 acres (40 ha) of land from local residents. On May 6, 1869, the General Assembly established the institution in Tippecanoe County as Purdue University, in the name of the principal benefactor. Classes began at Purdue on September 16, 1874, with six instructors and 39 students. Professor John S. Hougham was Purdue’s first faculty member and served as acting president between the administrations of presidents Shortridge and White. A campus of five buildings was completed by the end of 1874. Purdue issued its first degree, a Bachelor of Science in chemistry, in 1875 and admitted its first female students that fall.
Emerson E. White, the university’s president from 1876 to 1883, followed a strict interpretation of the Morrill Act. Rather than emulate the classical universities, White believed that Purdue should be an "industrial college" and devote its resources toward providing a liberal (or broad) education with an emphasis on science, technology, and agriculture. He intended not only to prepare students for industrial work, but also to prepare them to be good citizens and family members. Part of White’s plan to distinguish Purdue from classical universities included a controversial attempt to ban fraternities. This ban was ultimately overturned by the Indiana Supreme Court and led to White’s resignation. The next president, James H. Smart, is remembered for his call in 1894 to rebuild the original Heavilon Hall "one brick higher" after it had been destroyed by a fire.
By the end of the nineteenth century, the university was organized into schools of agriculture, engineering (mechanical, civil, and electrical), and pharmacy, and former U.S. President Benjamin Harrison was serving on the board of trustees. Purdue’s engineering laboratories included testing facilities for a locomotive and a Corliss steam engine, one of the most efficient engines of the time. The School of Agriculture was sharing its research with farmers throughout the state with its cooperative extension services and would undergo a period of growth over the following two decades. Programs in education and home economics were soon established, as well as a short-lived school of medicine. By 1925 Purdue had the largest undergraduate engineering enrollment in the country, a status it would keep for half a century.
President Edward C. Elliott oversaw a campus building program between the world wars. Inventor, alumnus, and trustee David E. Ross coordinated several fundraisers, donated lands to the university, and was instrumental in establishing the Purdue Research Foundation. Ross’s gifts and fundraisers supported such projects as Ross–Ade Stadium, the Memorial Union, a civil engineering surveying camp, and Purdue University Airport. Purdue Airport was the country’s first university-owned airport and the site of the country’s first college-credit flight training courses. Amelia Earhart joined the Purdue faculty in 1935 as a consultant for these flight courses and as a counselor on women’s careers. In 1937, the Purdue Research Foundation provided the funds for the Lockheed Electra 10-E that Earhart flew on her attempted round-the-world flight.
Every school and department at the university was involved in some type of military research or training during World War II. During a project on radar receivers, Purdue physicists discovered properties of germanium that led to the making of the first transistor. The Army and the Navy conducted training programs at Purdue and more than 17,500 students, staff, and alumni served in the armed forces. Purdue set up about a hundred centers throughout Indiana to train skilled workers for defense industries. As veterans returned to the university under the G.I. Bill, first-year classes were taught at some of these sites to alleviate the demand for campus space. Four of these sites are now degree-granting regional campuses of the Purdue University system. Purdue’s on-campus housing became racially desegregated in 1947, following pressure from Purdue President Frederick L. Hovde and Indiana Governor Ralph F. Gates.
After the war, Hovde worked to expand the academic opportunities at the university. A decade-long construction program emphasized science and research. In the late 1950s and early 1960s the university established programs in veterinary medicine, industrial management, and nursing, as well as the first computer science department in the United States. Undergraduate humanities courses were strengthened, although Hovde only reluctantly approved of graduate-level study in these areas. Purdue awarded its first Bachelor of Arts degrees in 1960. The programs in liberal arts and education, formerly administered by the School of Science, were soon split into their own school.
In recent years, Purdue’s leaders have continued to support high-tech research and international programs. In 1987, U.S. President Ronald Reagan visited the West Lafayette campus to give a speech about the influence of technological progress on job creation. In the 1990s, the university added more opportunities to study abroad and expanded its course offerings in world languages and cultures. The first buildings of the Discovery Park interdisciplinary research center were dedicated in 2004. Purdue launched a Global Policy Research Institute in 2010 to explore the potential impact of technical knowledge on public policy decisions.
Purdue's campus is situated just outside the city limits of West Lafayette, near the western bank of the Wabash River, across which sits the larger city of Lafayette. State Street, which is concurrent with State Road 26, divides the northern and southern portions of campus. Academic buildings are mostly concentrated on the eastern and southern parts of campus, with residence halls to the west, and athletic facilities to the north. The Greater Lafayette Public Transportation Corporation (CityBus) operates eight campus loop bus routes on which students, faculty, and staff can ride free of charge.
The Stadium Mall is the central quad of Purdue University. Also known as the Purdue Spine, due to its proximity to several important academic buildings, it was created to connect the academic campus with Ross-Aide Stadium. It is also known as the Engineering Mall, due to its proximity to several engineering buildings. The most prominent feature of the Stadium Mall is at its end (where it intersects the Purdue Mall) is the 38-foot (12 m)-tall concrete Engineering Fountain, and also features the Frederick L. Hovde Hall of Administration, which houses the office of the university president, Mitchell E. Daniels. The Purdue Bell Tower is located between the Stadium and Centennial Malls. The Bell Tower is considered an icon of the university and can be found on many Purdue logos and those of the cities of Lafayette and West Lafayette.
Southwest of the Stadium Mall is the Edward C. Elliott Hall of Music, one of the largest proscenium theaters in the world. Purdue's Student Concert Committee often invites famous entertainers to perform there for an audience of students, faculty, and the general public.
The Purdue Memorial Mall, located south of the Purdue Mall, is the original section of campus. A popular meeting place for students, the grassy, open Memorial Mall is surrounded by the Stewart Student Center, Stanley Coulter Hall, the Class of 1950 Lecture Hall, Recitation Building, Winthrop Stone Hall, and University Hall. The Memorial Mall also features the Hello Walk. Near this section of campus is Felix Haas Hall, which was constructed in 1909 as Memorial Gymnasium in memory of the 17 Purdue University football players, coaches, alumni, and fans who perished in the Purdue Wreck railroad accident on October 31, 1903. The structure was renovated in 1985 to house the Computer Science department. In 2006, it was renamed in honor of retired Provost Felix Haas and began to also house the Statistics department. East of the Memorial Mall is the Purdue Memorial Union, Purdue's student union building, and the adjacent Union Club Hotel.
University Hall is the only building remaining from the original six-building campus. Construction began in 1871, when the building was known as "The Main Building". The building was dedicated in 1877 and the project cost $35,000 to complete. University Hall originally housed the office of the president, a chapel, and classrooms, but was remodeled in 1961 to house only the department of history and classrooms used by the School of Liberal Arts. At the request of John Purdue, he was buried in the Memorial Mall, directly across from the main entrance of University Hall.
|This section requires expansion. (December 2011)|
The area south of State Street is home to Purdue's agricultural, fine arts, life sciences, and veterinary buildings. This area also includes the Horticulture Gardens, Discovery Park, and the Purdue Airport.
The western portion of campus consists of student housing, dining, and recreation facilities. Students can play club and intramural sports at the Córdova Recreational Sports Center, the Boilermaker Aquatic Center, and the intramural playing fields in this area. The Córdova Recreational Sports Center, built in 1957, is the first building in the nation created solely to serve university student recreational needs. As a replacement for the previously separate women's and men's gymnasiums, it was originally called the "Co-recreational Gymnasium". Despite several expansions and official name changes, it has been nicknamed "the Co-rec" ever since.
Much of the northern part of campus sits on land purchased for the university by industrialist David E. Ross and author and humorist George Ade in the 1920s. Many of Purdue's athletic facilities are located there, including Ross–Ade Stadium (American football), Mackey Arena (basketball), and Lambert Fieldhouse (indoor track and field). This area also includes the Slayter Center of Performing Arts and Cary Quadrangle, one of the largest all-male housing units in the country. David Ross is one of two people buried on Purdue's campus (the other being John Purdue). His grave site is in a garden atop the hill just to west of the Slayter band shell. Baseball's Alexander Field and other athletic facilities are located a mile west of the stadium, at the newer Northwest Athletic Complex.
|College of Agriculture||1869|
|College of Education||1908|
|College of Engineering||1876|
|College of Health and Human Sciences||2010|
|College of Liberal Arts||1953|
|Krannert School of Management||1962|
|College of Pharmacy||1884|
|College of Science||1907|
|College of Technology||1964|
|College of Veterinary Medicine||1959|
Purdue offers more than 200 options for major areas of study at the West Lafayette campus alone, and a variety of options for minors. Purdue is organized into ten colleges and schools. On July 1, 2010 the College of Health and Human Sciences was formed. The new college was created by combining existing academic units. These units include the School of Nursing, the School of Health Sciences, the College of Consumer and Family Sciences, and non-humanities majors from the College of Liberal Arts; namely psychology and hearing and speech pathology.
The University President, appointed by the Board of Trustees, is the chief administrative officer of the university. The office of the president oversees admission and registration, student conduct and counseling, the administration and scheduling of classes and space, the administration of student athletics and organized extracurricular activities, the libraries, the appointment of the faculty and conditions of their employment, the appointment of all non-faculty employees and the conditions of employment, the general organization of the university, and the planning and administration of the university budget.
The Board of Trustees directly appoints other major officers of the university including a provost, who serves as the chief academic officer for the university, a number of vice presidents with oversight over specific university operations, and the regional campus chancellors.
The University expended $472.7 million in support of research system-wide in 2006–07, using funds received from the state and federal governments, industry, foundations, and individual donors. The faculty and more than 400 research laboratories put Purdue University among the leading research institutions. Purdue University is considered by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education to have "very high research activity". Purdue also was rated the nation's fourth best place to work in academia, according to rankings released in November 2007 by The Scientist magazine. Purdue's researchers provide insight, knowledge, assistance, and solutions in many crucial areas. These include, but are not limited to Agriculture; Business and Economy; Education; Engineering; Environment; Healthcare; Individuals, Society, Culture; Manufacturing; Science; Technology; Veterinary Medicine.
Purdue University generated a record $438 million in sponsored research funding during the 2009–10 fiscal year with participation from National Science Foundation, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the U.S. departments of Agriculture, Defense, Energy, and Health and Human Services.
Purdue University established the Discovery Park to bring innovation through multidisciplinary action. In all of the eleven centers of Discovery Park, ranging from entrepreneurship to energy and advanced manufacturing, research projects reflect a large economic impact and address global challenges. Purdue University's nanotechnology research program, built around the new Birck Nanotechnology Center in Discovery Park, ranks among the best in the nation.
The Purdue Research Park which opened in 1961 was developed by Purdue Research Foundation which is a private, nonprofit foundation created to assist Purdue. The park is focused on companies operating in the arenas of life sciences, homeland security, engineering, advanced manufacturing and information technology. It provides an interactive environment for experienced Purdue researchers and for private business and high-tech industry. It currently employs more than 3,000 people in 155 companies, including 90 technology-based firms. The Purdue Research Park was ranked first by the Association of University Research Parks in 2004.
Purdue University is a participant in the Committee on Institutional Cooperation. The Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) is the academic consortium of the universities in the Big Ten Conference plus former conference member, the University of Chicago. The initiative also allows students at participating institutions to take distance courses at other participating institutions. The initiative also forms a partnership of research. Engaging in $8 billion in research in 2010, CIC universities are providing powerful insight into important issues in medicine, technology, agriculture, and communities. Students at participating schools are also allowed "in-house" viewing privileges at other participating schools' libraries. They also employ collective purchasing, which has saved member institutions $19 million to date.
|U.S. News & World Report||62|
Purdue's engineering program has been ranked highly by both national and international ranking agencies. The Academic Ranking of World Universities has ranked Purdue's engineering program No. 10 internationally in Engineering/Technology and Computer Sciences rankings. The U.S. News & World Report has featured Purdue's engineering program among top 10 in the U.S. several times since its inception. In the 2014 U.S. News & World Report Graduate School Rankings, Purdue is ranked No. 8 in the U.S. for its engineering program. In 2012, U.S. News & World Report ranked Purdue's undergraduate engineering program at No. 9 in the nation.
In other national rankings for 2011, Purdue was ranked No. 40 by ARWU, No. 62 by U.S. News & World Report, and No. 79 by Washington Monthly. In global rankings for 2011, the university was ranked No. 61 by ARWU, No. 85 by QS, and No. 98 by Times.
Purdue's Sustainability Council, composed of University administrators and professors, meets monthly to discuss environmental issues and sustainability initiatives at Purdue. The University's first LEED Certified building was an addition to the Mechanical Engineering Building, which was completed in Fall 2011. The school is also in the process of developing an arboretum on campus. In addition, a system has been set up to display live data detailing current energy production at the campus utility plant. The school holds an annual "Green Week" each fall, an effort to engage the Purdue community with issues relating to environmental sustainability.
The Purdue student body is composed primarily of students from Indiana. In 2006–07, 23,086 out of a total of 39,288 students enrolled were Indiana residents. As of 2007, the racial diversity of the undergraduate student body was 86.9% white, 5.51% Asian, 3.53% African American, and 2.75% Hispanic. Of these students, 41.2% are female. Domestic minorities constitute a total of 15.4% in the Graduate student body population of which 38.5% are female. The largest minority (six percent of the full-time student body) is international, representing 123 countries. In graduate student population, non-residents occupy an overwhelming majority, about 78%. Almost all undergraduates and about 70% of the graduate student population attend full-time. The school's selectivity for admissions is "more selective" by USNWR: approximately 70% of applicants are admitted.
Purdue University operates fifteen separate residence halls for its undergraduate and graduate students, including Cary Quadrangle, Earhart Hall, First Street Towers, Harrison Hall, Hawkins Hall, Hillenbrand Hall, Hilltop Apartments, McCutcheon Hall, Meredith Hall, Owen Hall, Purdue Village, Shreve Hall, Tarkington Hall, Wiley Hall, and Windsor Halls. Of the residence halls, Cary and Tarkington are male-only while Windsor is female-only; the remainder are coed. The newest residence hall, First Street Towers, opened in July 2009.
There are 12 cooperative houses at Purdue (5 men's houses and 7 women's houses). The men's houses include Circle Pines, Fairway, Marwood, Chauncey, and Gemini. The women's houses include Ann Tweedale, Glenwood, Twin Pines, Maclure, Stewart, Devonshire, and Shoemaker. All cooperative houses are governed under the Purdue Cooperative Council which is led by Purdue University students who live in these houses. The cooperative system allows for a much lower cost of living than other types of housing, as the members take an active role in sharing chores and cooking all meals themselves, as opposed to hiring out cleaning and cooking staff.
Purdue University hosts the nation's third largest Greek community, with approximately 5,000 students participating in one of the 46 men's fraternities or 29 women's sororities. Several of Purdue's most distinguished graduates are members of fraternities and sororities. Purdue's Greek system is very strong and works together in various aspects, including the Inter-Fraternity Council, Panhellenic, and many very successful philanthropies. For example, in 2010, Zeta Tau Alpha's philanthropy, Big Man On Campus (BMOC) raised over $125,000 with the help of the rest of the Greek community, all benefitting Breast Cancer awareness and research. Every Chapter has their own national philanthropy dedicated to a certain cause that many chapters also participate in. Besides philanthropy, Purdue Greeks are involved all over campus including College Mentors for Kids, Purdue University Dance Marathon, Boiler Gold Rush, Purdue Student Government and many other various activities.
The Purdue Exponent, an independent student newspaper, has the largest circulation of any Indiana college newspaper, with a daily circulation of 17,500 copies during the spring and fall semesters. From 1889 to 2008 Purdue published a yearbook called the Debris.
WBAA is a radio station owned by Purdue University. The station operates on the AM frequency of 920 kHz and FM frequency of 101.3 MHz. Its studios are in the Edward C. Elliott Hall of Music on the Purdue campus, and the transmitters are located in Lafayette, Indiana. WBAA is the longest continuously-operating radio station in Indiana, having been licensed on April 4, 1922. WBAA airs NPR and local news/talk programming during the day. Overnight, the AM station airs jazz while the FM station airs classical music.
There are also a few campus radio stations on campus. Currently, three radio stations operate from residence halls, broadcasting via internet only; WCCR from Cary Quadrangle (not to be confused with the current WCCR FM or WCCR-LP stations in other states), WILY from Wiley Hall, and WHHR from Harrison Hall. A fourth student station, the Purdue Student Radio club operates from the Purdue Memorial Union and broadcasts on low power AM in addition to internet streaming.
W9YB is the callsign of the Amateur Radio Club at Purdue University. W9YB also holds the self declared title of having one of the largest and most active collegiate amateur radio stations in the country. W9YB actively participates in emergency management for the Tippecanoe County area and maintains ready status with its members in skills to assist.
Purdue is home to 18 Division I/I-A NCAA teams including football, basketball, cross country, tennis, wrestling, golf, volleyball, and others. Purdue is a founding member of the Big Ten Conference, and played a central role in its creation. Traditional rivals include Big Ten colleagues the Indiana Hoosiers (see Indiana–Purdue rivalry), the Illinois Fighting Illini, and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish from the Big East Conference (football program independent, however).
The Boilermaker men's and women's basketball teams have won more Big Ten Championships than any other conference school, with 27 conference banners, including a league-leading 22 for the men’s team. Purdue men's basketball has an all-time winning record against all Big Ten schools.
The moniker for the University's athletics teams has become a popular reference for all things Purdue. A reporter first used the name in 1891 to describe the year's winning football team and quickly gained approval from students.
In the more than 130 years since the founding of the university, several mascots have emerged in support of the Boilermaker athletic teams, including: The Boilermaker Special, Purdue Pete, and more recently, Rowdy.
The Boilermaker Special has been the official mascot of Purdue University since 1940. Designed to look like a train locomotive, the Special was originally designed to demonstrate Purdue's engineering programs and is maintained by the members of the Purdue Reamer Club.
As the official mascot of Purdue Athletics, Purdue Pete is one of the most recognized symbols of Purdue University.
An 18-foot (5.5 m) statue of "The Boilermaker" was erected in 2005 across from Ross Ade Stadium.
Purdue University adopted its school colors, Old Gold and Black, in the fall of 1887. Members of Purdue's first football team in 1887 felt that the squad should be distinguished by certain colors, and since Princeton was at the time the most successful gridiron unit, its colors were considered. Though actually orange and black, the Princeton colors were known by many as yellow and black. Purdue gridders opted for old gold over yellow, kept the black, and began flying the colors that endure today.
The official seal of Purdue was officially inaugurated during the University's centennial in 1969. The seal, approved by the Board of Trustees, was designed by Prof. Al Gowan, formerly at Purdue. It replaced one that had been in use for 73 years, but was never officially accepted by the board.
In medieval heraldry, a griffin symbolized strength, and Abby P. Lytle used it in her 1895 design for a Purdue seal. When Professor Gowan redesigned the seal, he retained the griffin symbol to continue identification with the older, unofficial seal. As on the older seal, the words "Purdue University" are set in the typeface Uncial. The three-part shield indicates three stated aims of the University: education, research, and service, replacing the words Science, Technology, and Agriculture on the earlier version.
The official fight song of Purdue University, "Hail Purdue!", was composed in 1912 by alumni Edward Wotawa (music) and James Morrison (lyrics) as the "Purdue War Song". "Hail Purdue" was copyrighted in 1913 and dedicated to the Varsity Glee Club.
This 50-mile, 160-lap go-kart race is "The Greatest Spectacle in College Racing" and wraps up Gala Week each year. All 33 participating karts are made from scratch by student teams. The event has been raising money for student scholarships since it began in 1958.
Found on a farm in southern Indiana, the oaken bucket is one of the oldest football trophies in the nation. The winner of the annual Purdue vs. Indiana University American football game gets to add a bronze "P" or "I" chain link and keep the trophy until the next face-off. Ironically, the first competition in 1925 led to a 0–0 tie, resulting in the first link on the chain being an "IP." Purdue currently leads the trophy series at 57-27-3.
Boiler Gold Rush (BGR) is Purdue's new-student orientation program. BGR, which takes place before each fall semester, was formed to ease the transition to college for incoming students and to help them get acquainted with successful college life. The Boiler Gold Rush program was formed by Roger Sharritt in 1993. In the first year, Sharritt’s operation, then called Corn Camp, served just 100 new students with around 15 staff. Since 1993, the program has gone from being called Corn Camp to Boiler Gold Rush. It started operations in the Cary Quadrangle residence hall, then moved to the Office of Admissions, and eventually became part of the Orientation and New Student Programs (ONSP)office, which reported to the Office of Enrollment Management. BGR is now coordinated by the Student Access, Transition and Success (SATS) office, and has increased to more than 5,500 in 2012. Other significant changes are that the program now takes place the week immediately preceding the beginning of the fall semester and that during BGR, students live in the rooms they will be living in for the rest of the year, which was not the case in the first few years of the program’s development.
Boiler Gold Rush activities include speaker presentations from various academic, cultural, safety and professional organizations on campus, campus tours led by Team Leaders, academic 'meet the schools' picnic and interest sessions, late night events at the Purdue Memorial Union, Recreational Sports Center and local stores, and a sports pep rally.
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Best described as a cross between a pep rally and a Halloween party, students and even some alumni dress up in costumes, from traditional Halloween garb to creative hand-made costumes, as they bar-hop before Boilermaker home football games. The Breakfast Club plays a significant role during the football season and is informally a part of Purdue tradition. Many Boilermaker fans are dedicated; getting up at 5 am on Saturdays and lining up at the bars on Chauncey Hill and the levee by 6 am.
The tradition started with the Lambda Chapter of the Phi Kappa Tau fraternity. The fraternity would wake up early in the morning on the morning of home football games and purchase enough beer kegs that they would get a truck with tap spouts. They invited several other "Greeks" and would even go into their houses in the morning to wake them up for the tradition. Bar owners began to realize that college students, alumni, and even parents in some cases had a demand for this and started opening up their establishments to take advantage of what was going on. Thus Breakfast Club was born and quickly grew to the entire student body.
Costumes came in to play at a later date. A few students were denied being served at one of the bars because they had "reached their limit". They went home, put on a costume, and were to be served again. Soon the costume idea caught on and more and more students were dressing up in costumes to their bar-hop tradition.
This tradition also takes place the day of the annual Grand Prix race in April.
The original faculty of six in 1874 has grown to 2,563 tenured and tenure-track faculty in the Purdue Statewide System by Fall 2007 totals. The number of faculty and staff members system-wide is 18,872. The current faculty includes scholars such as Shreeram Shankar Abhyankar – known for his contributions to singularity theory, Arden L. Bement Jr. – Director of the National Science Foundation, R. Graham Cooks, Joseph Francisco, Douglas Comer, Louis de Branges de Bourcia who proved the Bieberbach conjecture, Ei-ichi Negishi, Victor Raskin, Michael Rossmann who mapped human common cold virus, Leah Jamieson, James L. Mohler, who has written several manuals of computer graphics, Brent D. Bowen, whose research on aviation and airline quality is viewed annually by millions, and H. Jay Melosh.
Purdue's tenured faculty comprises sixty Academic Deans, Associate Deans, and Assistant Deans; 63 Academic Department Heads; 753 Professors; 547 Associate Professors; and 447 Assistant Professors. Purdue employs 892 non-tenure-track faculty, Lecturers, and Postdoctorals at its West Lafayette campus. Purdue employs another 691 tenured and 1,021 Non-Tenure Track Faculty, Lecturers, and Postdoctorals at its Regional Campuses and Statewide Technology.
Two faculty members (chemists Herbert C. Brown and Ei-ichi Negishi) have been awarded Nobel Prizes while at Purdue. In all, 13 Nobel Prizes in five fields have been associated with Purdue including students, researchers, and current and previous faculty. Other notable faculty of the past have included Golden Gate Bridge designer Charles Alton Ellis, efficiency expert Lillian Gilbreth, food safety advocate Harvey Wiley, aviator Amelia Earhart, radio pioneer Reginald Fessenden, and Yeram S. Touloukian, founder of the Thermophysical Properties Research Center.
Purdue alumni have achieved recognition in a range of areas, particularly in science and engineering industry. The university's alumni pool collectively holds over 15,000 United States patents.
Purdue has produced 23 astronauts, including Gus Grissom, the first vertically launched person to return to space, Neil Armstrong, the first to walk on the moon, and Eugene Cernan, the most recent astronaut to do so. Over one third of all of NASA's manned space missions have had at least one Purdue graduate as a crew member.
In science, Purdue has also produced Nobel prize winning physicists in Edward Mills Purcell and Ben Roy Mottelson; as well as Nobel prize winning chemist Akira Suzuki. Other noted Purdue alumni in science include pioneer of robotics and remote control technology Thomas B. Sheridan, Debian founder Ian Murdock, Founding father and key contributor to the Chinese nuclear weapon programs: Chinese physicist Deng Jiaxian, biochemist Edwin T. Mertz, who is credited with discovery of high-protein corn and beans.
In business and economics, Purdue alumni include Stephen Bechtel, Jr., owner of Bechtel Corporation; Federal Reserve Bank president Jeffrey Lacker; and popcorn specialist Orville Redenbacher. In 2010, Bloomberg also revealed that Purdue was one of the universities in America with the most undergraduate alumni serving as chief executive officers of Standard & Poor's 500 firms. They are Gregory Wasson, president/CEO of Walgreen Co, Mark Miller, chairman/president/CEO of Stericycle Inc, Charles Davidson, chairman/CEO of Noble Energy Inc, Samuel Allen, chairman /president/CEO of Deere & Co., Donald Thompson, president/COO of McDonald's Corp., and John Martin, chairman/CEO of Gilead Sciences Inc.
In government and culture, Purdue alumni include former Egyptian Prime Minister Essam Sharaf, Pulitzer Prize winners Booth Tarkington and John T. McCutcheon, theater and television director Tom Moore, CEO of Rand Corporation James Thomson, founder and CEO of C-SPAN Brian Lamb, former Governor of Indiana Harry G. Leslie, former Governor of Mississippi Kirk Fordice, former Secretary of the United States Department of Agriculture Earl L. Butz, former United States Senator Birch Bayh, 2012 Presidential Candidate Herman Cain, Current West Virginia Congressman David McKinley, Chinese nationalist General Sun Liren, Anthony W. Miller, United States Deputy Secretary of Education, and University of Chicago president Hugo F. Sonnenschein.
In sports, Purdue has produced basketball coach John Wooden, basketball Hall of Famers Stretch Murphy, Piggy Lambert and Rick Mount; NBA Champions Paul Hoffman, Herm Gilliam, Frank Kendrick, Jerry Sichting, Glenn Robinson, and Brian Cardinal and NBA All-Stars Glenn Robinson, Brad Miller, Terry Dischinger, and Joe Barry Carroll. Purdue has three NFL Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks in Drew Brees, Bob Griese, and Len Dawson; in addition a total of 19 Purdue alumni have been on a Super Bowl-winning team, including ten of the past 12 Super Bowl Champions. Purdue also produced Super Bowl IV winning coach Hank Stram. Daytona 500 winner Ryan Newman graduated from Purdue with a Bachelor's degree in vehicle structure engineering.
The Dauch Alumni Center acts as a showcase for the university's alumni. The 67,000-square-foot (6,200 m2) center houses the offices of the Purdue Alumni Association and University Development. It is a destination and gathering area for the Purdue Alumni Association’s 68,000 members and more than 410,000 living alumni.
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