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President's Message - December 2010

“A place where great minds land and new ideas take flight.”

Cordova, Sullenberger, Armstrong
We were honored to welcome Capt. Sullenberger and Neil Armstrong back to campus last month.

At no time in Purdue’s history has that sentiment seemed more true.

In November, Purdue welcomed two of its most celebrated alumni back to campus: Astronaut Neil Armstrong, the first person to walk on the moon, and Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, the “Hero of the Hudson” who safely landed a failing plane on the Hudson River in January 2009.

This momentous visit happened as part of our President’s Council Annual Weekend and drew national attention. More than 900 Purdue alumni and friends joined us in the Purdue Memorial Union ballrooms to watch Armstrong present Sully with the Neil Armstrong Medal of Excellence, making him only the second recipient of this prestigious award.

5 Students who…
Alysha Kupferer is one of this month’s featured “culture makers”.

A visit by these two remarkable Purdue alumni was a wonderful moment for the Purdue community, giving us the opportunity to recognize and celebrate their many accomplishments -- and to hear their messages of dedication, hard work and more than a little courage.

Like Armstrong and Sullenberger, our Purdue students are not strangers to hard work and innovative thinking. This month, our “5 Students Who…” web feature shines a spotlight on a few of our creative students. Expressing themselves through the arts -- with the vision of introducing others to music, painting pictures, or writing scripts -- makes our students “culture makers” who help reach out to their peers about the value of the arts and to challenge our ideas and concepts about the world around us. Visit our “5 Students Who…” website to find out more.

All-American Marching Band
Purdue’s All-American Marching Band takes part in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Some of our musical students took the international stage on Thanksgiving this year when our “All-American” Marching Band performed in the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City, which was shown on television screens around the world. It is fun to think about Boilermakers across the country and around the world who were able to watch with pride as our Big Bass Drum made its impact felt on the streets of New York.

Ei-ichi Negishi

This month, a Purdue contingent accompanied Professor Ei-ichi Negishi to Stockholm, Sweden, where he accepted the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. With 1,300 guests attending, the King of Sweden presented to Professor Negishi the Nobel medal -- which represents recognition of those who confer the "greatest benefit on mankind." This is an extraordinary honor for Professor Negishi and for Purdue.

During this busy time of year, I wish our students and faculty the best as the semester comes to a close. Our achievements, both individually and collectively, make us a strong force for positive impact in the world. Thank you each for the part you play.

Hail Purdue!

France Cordova

France A. Córdova