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A commitment to serving the people
was Purdue's founding principle when the University was forged
amid the promise of a bold new vision for American public
higher education more than 130 years ago.
Purdue traces its roots to the Morrill Act of 1862, which
assisted states in promoting the establishment of schools
to teach agriculture and the "mechanic arts." Purdue
became Indiana's land-grant university by decree of the state
legislature in 1869 with the donation of 100 acres of land
from Tippecanoe County citizens and funds primarily from Lafayette
businessman and civic leader John Purdue. It would be another
five years before the young institution opened its doors with
39 students and six instructors.
Today, Purdue is one of the nation's largest universities
and a vital Indiana resource, renowned worldwide for the excellence
of its teaching and research. Nearly 68,000 students pursue
degrees on five campuses and 11 School of Technology Statewide
Delivery System sites, taught by 3,600 dedicated faculty.
More than 38,000 students study on the West Lafayette campus,
choosing from more than 6,100 courses in more than 200 fields
Every year, well over 100,000 people gain new knowledge and
enhance their professional skills via nearly 1,000 Purdue
workshops and conferences. Thousands more have embraced pace-setting,
distance-education efforts to gain insight and solve problems,
ranging from the Internet to televised courses by satellite.
Whether mapping the common-cold virus, on the front lines
in the battle against AIDS, improving crop yields, or helping
businesses sharpen their economic edge, Purdue researchers
and specialists confront the problems and promises of today's
world as partners with local, state, and federal agencies.
Expenditures for research programs now top $244 million annually.
Purdue also is a responsive citizen of Indiana. Academic
and research programs and services reach all corners of the
state from the West Lafayette and regional campuses. Eight
agricultural research centers located throughout Indiana focus
on area-specific soil, crop, and climatic issues. Purdue's
Cooperative Extension Service is at home in all 92 Hoosier
counties, assisting families, youth, and communities to meet
their own challenges and reach new goals. The University's
partnerships with factories, farms, businesses, and schools
have a profound fiscal effect, and the sheer size of the Purdue
enterprise makes it an economic dynamo.
Purdue alumni, too, have an impact on the world and
beyond. More than 300,000 living alumni make a difference
in myriad fields, and 22 alumni have explored the frontiers
of space or soon will, including the first and last men to
set foot on the moon.
Where a modest cluster of four buildings once rose out of
an Indiana meadow more than a century ago, the West Lafayette
campus now encompasses 145 principal buildings on 650 acres.
Recreation areas, two golf courses, and the Purdue Airport
add more than 900 acres to the West Lafayette total. The campus
is a regional cultural and recreational hub, annually attracting
hundreds of thousands of people to Ross-Ade Stadium and Mackey
Arena for Boilermaker sports, and to Elliott Hall of Music,
Loeb Playhouse, and Slayter Center of Performing Arts for
a wide spectrum of cultural and entertainment events.
Purdue is a birthplace of ideas, and a place of accomplishments;
a place whose people and programs enhance virtually every
aspect of contemporary life; a simple idea born of a noble
mission, nurtured by knowledge, and steeped in service, while
always taking aim at the future.