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A commitment to serving people has been Purdue’s central purpose since the University was founded more than 130 years ago amid the promise of a bold new vision for American public higher education. Purdue traces its origin to the Morrill Act of 1862, which provided assistance to the states in establishing colleges "…where the leading object shall be, without excluding other scientific and classical studies, and including military tactics, to teach such branches of learning as are related to agriculture and the mechanic arts, in such manner as the legislatures of the States may respectively prescribe, in order to promote the liberal and practical education of the industrial classes in the several pursuits and professions in life…" Purdue became Indiana's land-grant university by action of the state legislature in 1869. Since that time, Purdue has broadened its vision and evolved from a single-campus University to a multi-campus system designed to serve the people of Indiana. Today, together with its regional and metropolitan university campus programs, Purdue University is a land-grant university system that addresses broadly based post-secondary educational needs in Indiana.

Over the past 132 years Purdue’s role and scope have evolved and expanded until it is today one of the nation’s premier universities, renowned internationally for the excellence of its wide-ranging programs of research, scholarship, and creative endeavor. As it developed into an outstanding research university, Purdue continued its dedication to its basic commitment — providing the finest possible programs of learning to its students. The Purdue education prepares these people for their role as both citizens and leaders of our rapidly changing global community.

The production of new knowledge in the laboratory, the library, and the field, and the development of students' knowledge, competencies, and talents in the classroom and elsewhere do not exhaust Purdue’s obligations. The University also serves numerous other clienteles through a rich variety of outreach, extension, distance learning, and partnership activities. As the provider of educational services to numerous local, statewide, national, and global constituencies, and as the steward of this accumulated knowledge, Purdue addresses the problems and promises of today’s world in many profound and fundamental ways.

Purdue values the traditional arts and sciences as the foundation of its academic enterprise, and strives to excel in these areas. Purdue also recognizes that its international reputation is grounded primarily in its accomplishments in the ever-developing science and technology disciplines.

In offering Indiana’s only public university programs in agriculture, engineering, pharmacy, and veterinary science, Purdue is a vital and irreplaceable Indiana resource. In addition to these unique programs, the University makes available distinguished academic offerings in the liberal arts, the physical, life, computer and mathematical sciences, consumer and family sciences, education, management, nursing, health sciences, technology, and interdisciplinary studies, and confers degrees at the associate, baccalaureate, master's, and doctoral levels. Purdue’s alumni have exerted a profound influence on the world — and beyond — by contributing basic and applied knowledge in many diverse fields and by exploring the frontiers of space.

Purdue provides learning opportunities to statewide, national, and international constituencies through comprehensive continuing and distance education programs. Wherever and however these programs are offered, Purdue is committed to teaching students how to learn and thus to become lifelong learners.

The Purdue University system provides academic programs in West Lafayette (the flagship campus), on regional campuses in Hammond (PU Calumet), Fort Wayne (IPFW), and Westville (PU North Central), on the metropolitan University campus in Indianapolis (IUPUI), and in many statewide technology facilities throughout Indiana. While respecting the different levels of academic autonomy at its various campus locations, the West Lafayette Campus provides administrative and operational coordination services for all regional campus programs. This renders Purdue among the nation's most efficiently and effectively administered universities.

Standards of admission to the programs conducted at these various sites are established in the context of the character and demands of the programs themselves, local and regional community needs, and the availability of other post-secondary educational opportunities in the state. Purdue plays an important leadership role in Indiana's public higher education enterprise. This system is designed to accommodate all students who are eligible to receive a post-secondary educational experience. Thus, Purdue recognizes that access to higher education is a shared responsibility among Indiana's post-secondary institutions, and the Purdue University system embraces its part of this responsibility.

Purdue University is a birthplace of ideas, discoveries, inventions, and innovations. It is the site of great accomplishment in the basic and applied sciences and their technological applications, the social sciences, the humanities, and the arts. It combines responsible stewardship with shared leadership as it looks forward to an exciting and rewarding future in the new millennium.

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