A Message from the President - March 2012
March is always welcome in Indiana. It brings us the first day of spring, NCAA basketball tournaments, spring break and Women's History Month. It also brings us lots of high school students and their parents, eager to learn more about Purdue and the college experience.
A special Web feature this month will profile women who help make Purdue an exceptional place to work, teach and learn. They represent administrators and clerical staff, service workers, faculty members and students. We are proud of their contributions and I hope you enjoy reading about these outstanding Purdue women throughout the month.
Dorothy Stratton, a prominent woman in Purdue's history, is honored this month during an exhibit in the Purdue Libraries, Archives and Special Collections. The theme, "Behind the Mast of Women's Leadership: Celebrating the Legacy of Dorothy Stratton," honors Purdue's first full-time dean of women and a pioneer in women's rights during the early 20th century. The goal is to educate the public, celebrate Stratton's legacy and inspire current women students to pursue leadership roles. I hope you will visit the exhibit, located in the HSSE Library in Stewart Center, and learn more about Stratton.
Last month, the Purdue community honored the memory of an important role model and astronaut alumna, Janice Voss, who passed away on February 6. A celebration of her life was held on campus and her family announced the establishment of an engineering scholarship fund in her name. Voss was enthusiastic about encouraging students, and especially women, to pursue careers in engineering and science, and this scholarship will continue her vision.
Purdue faculty are among the most accomplished in the world, and we are taking steps to retain and recruit the very best by increasing the number of endowed professorships. A new matching gift challenge, the Faculty Fund for Excellence, will create endowed professorships with up to $7.25 million in university matching funds. The initiative is university-wide and will support and enhance the important work of our faculty in all disciplines, add top scholars to our faculty ranks and boost our student learning experience.
Our students continue to distinguish themselves among their peers. This month's "5 Students Who ..." Web feature profiles some of our outstanding students who are Spirit Makers. These students exude the famous Purdue pride. They are sports fans, cheerleaders, ambassadors, tour guides and leaders. Our very own "Paint Crew" student cheering section was recently nominated for the inaugural Naismith Student Section of the Year Award. We are proud of these student spirit leaders who help cheer the Boilermakers to victory.
As we enter "March Madness," I hope everyone can join in the spirit of the Paint Crew and cheer for our men’s and women's basketball teams.
France A. Córdova