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President's Message - July 2010

Dear Purdue family and friends:

Every four years, the World Cup captures the attention of countless fans. The global soccer event culminates with one champion on the field, but the competition itself is a winning event for all of us. It is an example of the special ability of athletics to unify, focus and inspire.

Lauren Steele and Allison Springer
Air Race Classic Winners

Air Race Classic Winners

In our campus community, the pursuit of individual, intramural and intercollegiate excellence is part of the glue that bonds us, and the dreams that drive our
daily lives.

This spirit of adventure and accomplishment in the Purdue community is wonderfully reflected in the victory by two of our students, pilot Lauren Steele and co-pilot Allison Springer, in the storied Air Race Classic last month. Steele and Springer finished first in the collegiate division of the 2,500-mile cross-country race for women created by Amelia Earhart and her cohorts. The pair’s dedication, preparation, teamwork and talent helped propel their exciting journey, and we congratulate Lauren and Allison, their crew and everyone who made the winning flights possible. Boiler Up!

Golf Week

Last spring, when our Latin and Ballroom dance team reached the finals of “Dancing with the Stars” on national television, the Purdue family was immensely proud. Hard work was rewarded; superlative skills were recognized; and the team on stage and on TV touched our emotions. It wasn’t just great competition; it was a great slice of life.

A few days prior to the Dancing finale, our Boilermakers women’s golf team captured its first national championship. The players originally hail from around the world, yet the team was absolutely one in spirit. We spectators were captivated by their trials and their triumph.

Our athletes continue their strong performance in the classroom, too. For the 26th straight semester, the average grade point average of Purdue’s student-athletes was higher than that of the general student body. Our women’s volleyball team scored a perfect 1000 on an even more extensive academic success measurement called the NCAA Academic Progress Rate.

Athletics Director
Morgan Burke
Athletics Director Morgan Burke

The success of our student-athletes in the classroom is certainly a testament to the leadership of Athletics Director Morgan Burke, who recently was named the Under Armour AD of the Year for the Central Region of the Football Bowl subdivision. Purdue Athletics is extremely fortunate to have Morgan at the helm – he and his staff are first-rate leaders and mentors for our young people.

On campus, there are endless ways to exercise our bodies as well as our minds. The Board of Trustees recently approved the next phase of a plan to enhance our Recreational Sports Center, which serves Purdue students as well as faculty, staff and visitors. They also approved the first phase of the Northwest Athletic Complex, which will include a new intercollegiate baseball stadium.

The topic of health has also been at the forefront of academics at Purdue. We have arrived on the doorstep of our first year with the new College of Health and Human Sciences (HHS). Opening July 1, it reorganizes and strengthens the College of Consumer and Family Sciences and embraces Nursing and Health Sciences. The new college broadens opportunities for Purdue students, faculty and researchers in health-related fields to better serve their professional goals and humanity. HHS will stimulate more successes here and beyond our borders, and I am excited to watch the work and the learning unfold.

Drew Brees visits PALS program

Drew Brees visits PALS program

July winds up another outstanding month of the PALS program. PALS stands for Purdue Athletes Life Success. The month-long camp is free to underserved children in the Greater Lafayette area who can benefit from instruction and activities that focus on developing character and positive relationships. This year, PALS set a record with more than 500 children in attendance. Congratulations, and thank you to the terrific PALS staff and the camp’s generous sponsors.

During the summer months, it is easier to focus on exercise, but the message at Purdue reverberates year-round: healthy minds and healthy bodies are a laudable twin goal.


Cordova signature

France A. Córdova
President, Purdue University