Spirit Maker

5 Students Who are Spirit Makers

5 Students Who
Paul Branham

Paul Branham

  • Elizabeth Hudson
  • Jim Mlynarski
  • Juan Crespo
  • Elizabeth Gerrity
  • Paul Branham

Name: Paul Branham
Major: Nuclear Engineering
Year: Senior
Hometown: Keller, Texas

Paul wears his Purdue pride on his sleeve and his ring finger. This lifelong Boilermaker’s wedding ring is black ceramic with a 14k-gold band in the middle. The ring is only one small example of how the president of the Reamer Club and driver of the Boilermaker Special displays his love for his school in everyday life.

Golden (and black) opportunity

“I remember riding the train around during BGR and one of my friends mentioned to me, ‘Hey, Paul, you are more gung ho about Purdue than anyone I know. You should go out for the Reamer Club.’ So I said, ‘Sure why not?’ and ended up being selected as a pledge.”

Purdue proposal

“Legend has it that if a couple kisses under the bell tower and then walks past the Lion’s Fountain, they will get married. When I proposed to my wife we took the Xtra Special around campus. We drove under the bell tower where I made sure to kiss her and then we went to the Lion’s Fountain to take some pictures, and that is where I proposed.”

Highest honor

“It’s a great honor to drive Purdue’s mascot and to be in charge of such an important ambassador to the University. Driving the Boilermaker Special is something I worked hard for. We have to do a lot of training before we can become an official pilot.”

Defining moments

“The 1998 Alamo Bowl was the first bowl game I attended. Kansas State had come back to take the lead in the fourth quarter. I was 11 at the time and I saw people leaving and I stood up, yelled at them and told them to get back to their seats. Drew Brees then went on one of the most incredible drives in the history of Purdue football, and that’s one of my favorite sports memories, period.”

By Kelly Rogers
Published March 2012