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A Message from the President - June 2012

Ei-ichi Negishi

Distinguished Professor and Nobel laureate Ei-ichi Negishi receives an honorary doctorate during commencement exercises last month.

Summer at Purdue brings a different pace: many of our undergraduate students have gone home to work or traveled to new venues to do internships with companies or special service or research projects. Our graduate students intensify their research time with faculty. It is a time for strategic planning for the coming academic year and for renewal of our facilities -- hence the numerous orange cones, fences and detour signs lining the roadways.

As the academic year drew to a close in May, we celebrated several special events.

I was honored to welcome another graduating class onto the stage of Elliott Hall of Music for spring commencement -- my final commencement at Purdue. Families and parents of more than 4,500 students filled the campus and the community that weekend in celebration of our newest Boilermaker alumni. Two remarkable members of our Purdue family provided inspirational words to graduates at separate ceremonies. Ei-ichi Negishi, Purdue's Herbert C. Brown Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Nobel Prize winner, spoke to graduates after receiving an honorary doctorate in science. And astronaut and Purdue alumnus Dr. David Wolf was our featured speaker during ceremonies for our graduate school.


President Córdova and Engineering Dean Jamieson examine a scale model of the VOSS project.

That same weekend, we announced Visiting Our Solar System (VOSS), a new interactive sculpture of the planetary system that will be installed at Discovery Park. The football-field length display will be a tribute to Purdue's role in space exploration and a destination spot that will inspire future generations. The project honors a Purdue alumna and astronaut, the late Janice Voss, and will include many references to her space career.

Brittany Rayburn

Brittany Rayburn is a Record Maker.

We also celebrated a significant step in expanding Purdue’s global footprint with the announcement of PurdueHUB-U, an effort to expand online courses aimed at a global audience. The initiative will offer online courses with interactive visualizations, video lectures, and will allow for interaction among students and the professor. The possibility for Purdue students to learn and interact with peers around the world broadens their educational horizons and delivers on our strategic mission to meet global challenges.

This month, our 5 Students Who ... Web feature highlights Purdue students who are "record makers." These students have excelled in athletics, community service involvement and charity work to achieve "firsts" in their fields and earn a place in Boilermaker history. I hope you are as inspired by their success and enthusiasm as I have been.

Speaking of Purdue’s record-breaking students, congratulations to our baseball team on their Big Ten tournament win -- the first-ever for Purdue. Not only will they represent the Big Ten in the upcoming NCAA tournament, but we are pleased to host the opening-weekend regional set for June 1-4 at U.S. Steel Yard ballpark in Gary, Indiana. Please join us in cheering on the Boilers!

I wish all of Purdue’s students, faculty, staff, alumni and visitors a safe and enjoyable summer!

Boiler Up!


France A. Córdova