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President's Message - May 2010

Dear Purdue family and friends:

Please step forward and take a bow.


To all who have filled the Purdue campus this year with energy, inspiration, creativity, dedication, and a love of learning — yours has been a job well done.

Our largest class to date will celebrate graduation from Purdue during May’s spring commencement. More than 6,000 new graduates, including 1,500 professional and graduate candidates, will cross the Elliott Hall of Music stage and head out into the world. They have thrived in a climate made rich by people committed to ensuring each student’s success. Some will enter graduate programs, medical, law, or flight school; others will teach or volunteer in their communities or abroad, or pursue careers in business or research.

David Franco
Nimisha Bajaj

Two students exemplify the quality of our graduates. David Franco, recipient of the G.A. Ross Award given to the outstanding man in the graduating class, juggled an amazing four majors – mathematics, economics, management and accounting. He will continue for an MBA at the Krannert School of Management. Nimisha Bajaj, a graduating senior in the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering, is the recipient of the Flora Roberts Award, given to the outstanding senior woman. She will attend medical school in the fall.

We have many other dedicated students with fascinating avocations. Emily McHugh, a nursing major, will work in Ecuador as a community health nurse. Ashley Hebda, a political science and comparative literature major, will teach English in Indianapolis through the Teach for America program. And Nathan Welch, an aviation technology major, will begin training as a U.S. Air Force pilot. To learn more about these students and others in the class of 2010, visit our “5 Students Who are Launching Their Dreams” feature at

Jay Gore
Suresh Garmella

Purdue is proud to launch not only students, but also faculty who offer solutions to global challenges. Jay Gore, the Reilly Professor of Combustion Engineering and director of the Energy Center, and Suresh Garimella, the R. Eugene and Susie E. Goodson Distinguished Professor of Mechanical Engineering, have received Jefferson Science Fellowships from the U.S. Department of State, and will lend their expertise and insights to help guide foreign policy.

The University is a launch pad for discipline-defining research. Purdue was recently awarded $25 million for the state’s first National Science Foundation Science and Technology Center, which will focus on the next generation of information theory with diverse applications, ranging from economic modeling to analyses of biological systems.

Wojciech Szpankowski
Fourteen Purdue faculty members from six academic departments and Information Technology at Purdue (ITaP) are associated with the project, which will be led by Wojciech Szpankowski, professor of computer science.

Thanks to our students, faculty and staff, alumni and friends, our successes over the past year have been numerous. I invite you to see some of these in our State of the University video

I am extremely proud of the men and women who are carrying Purdue’s name and reputation far and wide. As the class of 2010 makes its exit, I am confident that our graduates will continue to achieve, excel, succeed, and make a difference where they land. Thanks to our faculty and staff, and alumni and donors for helping them on their way.

Congratulations and Hail Purdue!



France A. Córdova
President, Purdue University