purdue university data digest west lafayette 2001-02
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Fast Facts
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  • Many Purdue academic schools and disciplines hold top 10 rankings in various national surveys of academic excellence, with particular strengths in engineering and business.

  • Purdue is ranked 21st in the nation in the latest "U.S. News & World Report" top 50 public universities survey.

  • Record enrollment on the West Lafayette campus of 38,208 in 2001-02 led systemwide Purdue enrollment past 67,700.

  • New students at West Lafayette are the academically best-prepared in Purdue history with average SAT scores of 1134, while 72 percent graduated in the top 30 percent of their high school classes.

  • Purdue has graduated more women engineers than any other university, and one in 50 engineers in the U.S. is Purdue-trained.

  • Purdue is proud of its "cradle of astronauts" reputation, with 22 alumni having been chosen for space travel. Purdue astronauts have included the first and last men on the moon, Neil Armstrong and Gene Cernan, and one of America's original Project Mercury astronauts, Gus Grissom.

  • Purdue alumni are presidents of 16 nationally regarded colleges and universities, including the University of Chicago, the University of Illinois, and Syracuse University.

  • More Forbes 800 corporate chief executive officers hold Purdue undergraduate degrees than any other public university.

  • Noted alumni of the past range from author and humorist George Ade and inventor David Ross to novelist Booth Tarkington and "popcorn king" Orville Redenbacher.

  • Nearly 70 faculty members on the West Lafayette campus hold distinguished or named professorships in recognition of teaching and research excellence.

  • During the 1990s, four Purdue professors were named winners of the prestigious Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching Indiana Professor of the Year Award.

  • Purdue enrolls more international students than any other public research institution in the nation.

  • Purdue researchers developed high-lysine corn and sorghum, and Purdue-developed wheat varieties are grown on more than 80 percent of the nation's acreage planted in soft red winter wheat.

  • Early work by Purdue researchers led to the first successful transmission of a black-and-white television picture.

  • As a land-, sea-, and space-grant institution, Purdue expends well over $200 million annually for research, using funds received from the state and federal governments, industry, foundations, and individual donors. There are more then 400 research laboratories on the West Lafayette campus.

  • Amelia Earhart served as a women's career consultant to Purdue from 1935 to 1937, and the Lockheed Electra aircraft used on her ill-fated world flight was made possible with gift funds from the Purdue Research Foundation.

  • Lillian Gilbreth, the time-and-motion study expert immortalized in the book and film "Cheaper by the Dozen," was a part-time professor of industrial engineering and career consultant at Purdue.

  • Purdue operates the nation's largest residence hall system among schools that do not require students to live in university housing. Nearly 12,300 undergraduate students live on the West Lafayette campus.

  • Home of the nation's first university computer sciences department, Purdue maintains its lead 40 years later with such initiatives as operating a state-of-the-art IBM RS/6000 SP supercomputer.

  • The initiative of Purdue President James Smart in 1895 led to a meeting of seven Midwest universities to form the Intercollegiate Conference of Faculty Representatives — better known today as the Big Ten.

Source: University Relations

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