The Purdue Express

The Purdue University Black Cultural Center was awarded a Diversity Transformation Award from the Office of the Provost to develop a performance based touring company, The Purdue Express designed to recruit underrepresented minority students to Purdue University. The Purdue Black Cultural Center Purdue Express will partner with Purdue's Office of Admissions, Multicultural Program Directors and Purdue Alumni to provide a new platform for the recruitment of URM students interested in attending Purdue with the goal of enhancing diversity within Purdue's student body. The performance will feature Purdue students as cultural ambassadors in a high energy 30 minute stage performance. The presentation will highlight Purdue's cultural and artistic diversity to inform high school students and their families about the history of Purdue, academic majors, campus life and diversity initiatives.

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) -- Some returning Purdue students got their first chance to show off a new recruitment tool Friday. [Read More]

James Dekle

Artist-in-residence, James Dekle

James Dekle is a native of Statesboro, Georgia. Dekle came to the Black Cultural Center from Atlanta, Georgia, where he served as Choral Director for the Dekalb Early College Academy and the Atlanta Music Project, a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization that provides intense music education for underserved youth. James Dekle received a Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University in Tallahassee, FL, and a Master of Music Education degree from Winthrop University in Rock Hill, SC.

Dekle brings an extensive musical background to the Black Cultural Center. As a performer, he was a member of the “World Renowned” FAMU Marching 100 Band, Concert Choir and The Connection, a performing arts group dedicated to university recruitment. His involvement with the Concert Choir led him on several national and international music tours including the Bahamas and Ethiopia, where choir members performed with Lauryn Hill, The Marley Brothers and the I3’s featuring Rita Marley. In addition to opportunities with the choir, Dekle provided background vocals for R&B and gospel singer Kelly Price in 2005 and toured Spain as a soloist/musician for The Florida Singers in 2006. From 2009 to 2011, Dekle was the lead in a Christian based musical The Gospel According to Tennessee with Narroway Productions of Charlotte, North Carolina. Also in 2009, he released his debut album Purpose, a positive music CD for youth. In 2013, as a songwriter, Dekle won a songwriting competition hosted by the Georgia Music Industry Association for his original composition Spirit of Christmas.

As a Choral conductor, James Dekle has prepared superior choral programs with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (NC), Dekalb County School District (GA), and The Atlanta Music project. He also brings sixteen years of experience as a musician/director for several church choirs throughout Georgia, Florida, and North Carolina.

Dekle is a proud member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity of America. He also maintains membership with the American Choral Directors Association, National Association for Music Education and the Georgia Music Industry Association.