Because her father and her uncle played Boilermaker football in the late 1940s and early 1950s, Dianne Durham grew up making regular road trips from St. Louis to West Lafayette. That experience built a natural affinity for Purdue, but it was something else that made Durham enroll at the University. “I knew in 8th grade that I wanted to be a scientist,” says Durham, now a professor and research director at the University of Kansas Medical Center. “One of Purdue’s main draws was that it had a biology honors program that would allow me to work in the lab as an undergraduate.” Durham did lab research continually until earning her bachelor’s degree in 1976, and she’s convinced that is what led her to pursue a PhD and career in neuroscience. Wanting to provide similar opportunities for future Purdue biology majors, she recently established the Dianne Durham Undergraduate Research Internship, which will be funded through a will provision.
“The internship will provide scholarship funding and the chance to gain research experience,” says Durham. “I wanted to give in this way because lab experience was so important in my career. It’s how I got to where I am today.”