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Coast Guard to name ship for Purdue's Dorothy C. Stratton

July 22, 2010

July 20, 2010

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The U.S. Coast Guard will name a ship Friday (July 23) after Purdue University's first full-time dean of women.

A U.S. Coast Guard Cutter will be named for Dorothy C. Stratton, who became dean in 1933. The ship will be christened by First Lady Michelle Obama in Pascagoula, Miss., and it will be broadcast live at 11:30 a.m. at

Sandra K. Monroe, acting vice president of student affairs; L. Tony Hawkins, dean of students; and midshipman Laura A. Podgorski are three Purdue representatives who will attend the event. Podgorski, a senior from Goshen, Ind., who is studying biomedical engineering, is a two-time recipient of an award named in Stratton's honor. This award, the Naval ROTC Dorothy Stratton Scholarship for Women, is awarded to a Purdue student for her strengths in scholarship, leadership and service.

Stratton, who died in 2006 at the age of 107, left Purdue in 1942 and was commissioned as a full lieutenant in the U.S. Navy as part of the Women Accepted Volunteer Emergency Service, or WAVES. Later that year, she was transferred to the U.S. Coast Guard to organize its first women's reserve. In that role, she recruited and led 11,000 enlisted women and 1,000 commissioned officers. Upon her retirement in 1946, she was awarded the Legion of Merit for her contributions to women in the military.

"This is an incredible honor for such a wonderful leader and inspiration to many," Monroe said. "During her nine-year tenure the university's female enrollment nearly tripled to more than 1,400 in large part to her work in developing a more expanded curriculum, with an emphasis on math and sciences, that was more favorable to women. She also managed the construction of three new women's residence halls at the West Lafayette campus. Stratton was promoted to full professor in 1940."

Writer: Amy Patterson Neubert, 765-494-9723,

Sandra K. Monroe, 765-494-5776,


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