Mission Statement

To promote aging-related research and education at Purdue University that uses a life course perspective to enhance the length and quality of life.


The Center on Aging and the Life Course (CALC) is designed as a university-wide entity to strengthen interdisciplinary inquiry on aging. CALC has two central aims:

  • advance research to optimize the aging experience of diverse populations
  • prepare future leaders for the field of gerontology.

CALC is similar in many respects to existing centers on aging at peer institutions but distinctive in its scope and mission. The focus of Purdue’s Center is optimizing functional independence and well-being in later life (preventing disease and disability). In addition, CALC emphasizes the application of the life course perspective—studying the aging process from gestation to death—and leads inquiries at multiple levels of analysis (from cells to societies).

CALC draws upon the expertise of Faculty Associates from more than 20 departments at Purdue. Twenty-three students are currently pursuing a graduate degree related to aging (either an interdisciplinary minor or a Dual-title PhD).

Hui (Cathy) Liu, PhD, Professor of Sociology, is the Director of the Center.


The origins of the Center on Aging and the Life Course can be traced to the establishment of the Center for Research on Aging in April, 1985, which was reshaped into the Gerontology Program 10 years later. In 2003, CALC was created to support interdisciplinary research and education on aging. The Gerontology Program remains as the educational arm of CALC.