Purdue is proud of its "cradle of astronauts" reputation,
with 22 alumni having been chosen for space travel, including
the first and last men on the moon, Neil Armstrong and Gene
Cernan, and the man who has been on more
space walks than anyone else, Jerry Ross. The only other non-military
institution that has more alumni who have become astronauts
is the Massachusetts Institute of
The Purdue Research Park has been named the
outstanding park in the country by the Association of University
Research Parks. This award recognizes a thriving enterprise
that now is home to more than 70 technology-based companies and
has been a hub of new business development for Central Indiana.
at Purdue in 1995, Engineering Projects in Community Service
(EPICS) allows teams of undergraduate students to earn academic
credit for multi-year, multi-disciplinary projects that solve
engineering and technology-based problems for community service
and education organizations. The program has grown to
14 other universities and is expected to reach more
than 1,500 students nationwide this year.
Purdue is ranked 22nd
in the nation in the latest U.S. News & World
Report top 50 public universities survey and 59th in the
world, 22nd among U.S. universities, and ninth among American
public universities in a survey by The Times of London.
Purdue’s Online Writing
Lab, known as OWL, attracts Web users from around the world. Aimed
at improving grammar, punctuation, and writing style, the service
has received 67,854,419 hits from more than 125 countries during
its first 7 1⁄2 years of service,
surpassing 20 million hits per year each of the last three
theater major and 1979 graduate Kallie Khouri
is making a name for herself in Hollywood. Not only did she
write the Oscar-winning movie Thelma and Louise,
but Khouri also wrote the movie adaptation of the novel Divine
Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood, which enjoyed
a successful release in 2002.
Record enrollment on the West Lafayette campus of
38,847 in fall of 2003 was an all-time high and pushed the
system-wide Purdue enrollment to 69,044, also the
There is more construction under way on Purdue's
campus in 2004 than at any previous time in its history.
Purdue became the first university in the nation
to establish a department of computer science.
of Purdue students in agriculture
are from non-farming backgrounds.
Purdue alumnus Elwood Mead oversaw
the construction of the Hoover Dam, which upon its completion
in 1936, was the world's largest concrete structure
containing 3.25 million cubic yards of concrete. Also, Purdue Civil Engineering
faculty member Charles Ellis conceived and drew up specifications for the
Golden Gate Bridge, which was built in San Francisco in 1937.
Both structures were at one time among the "Seven Wonders of
the Modern World."
Purdue's men's and women's basketball teams have
won more Big Ten Championships than any other school. The Boilermakers
have 27 regular-season conference titles, including a league-leading
21 for the men. Ohio State is second with 24 Big Ten trophies,
including the conference-best of eight for the women, while Indiana
ranks third with 20 championships, 19 of which were won by men's
Purdue's WBAA is Indiana's longest
continuously operating radio station. It started broadcasting on April
21, 1922, just 18 months after radio broadcasting was launched
in the United States on what is now KDKA in Pittsburgh, PA.
Marching Band may be best known for having the "World's
Largest Drum" and the "Golden Girl," but it also claims
several famous alumni, including a baritone player named Neil Armstrong who
went on to walk on the moon and a tuba player named Orville Redenbacher who
went on the become the "Popcorn King." The band was started in
1886 in connection with the Student Army Training Corps.
Purdue has provided several significant contributions
to the first Century of Flight, including an alumnus named
Cliff Turpin who helped Orville and Wilbur Wright build and
test their first flying machine in 1903. Turpin later set a
world altitude record of 9,400 feet in 1911 in an airplane
made out of wood and canvas — and with no seatbelt.
The Purdue Musical Organizations
often serve as international ambassadors for the University.
In 2002, the Men's Glee Club
visited China. Founded in 1893, the Glee Club is recognized
as one of the premier all-male choral ensembles in the world.
has graduated more women engineers than any other university,
and one in 50 engineers in the U.S. is
The Purdue Airport opened in 1930 as the first
university-owned airport in the nation.
More Forbes 800 corporate
chief executive officers hold
Purdue undergraduate degrees than any other public
Noted alumni of the past range from author and humorist
George Ade and inventor David Ross to novelist Booth Tarkington,
C-SPAN founder Brian Lamb, coaching legend John Wooden, and
two-time Super Bowl champion
quarterback Bob Griese.
Purdue has the second-most international
students among public U.S. universities with 4,921 this year.
work by Purdue researchers led to the first successful transmission
of a black-and-white television picture.
Amelia Earhart served
as a women's career consultant at
Purdue from 1935 to 1937, and the Lockheed Electra aircraft
used on her ill-fated world flight was financed with gift funds
from the Purdue Research Foundation.
In 1971, Purdue students Arthur
Bond, Edward Barnette,
and Fred Cooper founded the National Society of Black
Engineers, which has grown to 10,000 members in
268 chapters around the United States and abroad.