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A Message from the President - July 2011

The voices of summer on our West Lafayette campus trend a bit younger than those we hear from August through May.

2011 PALS camp

Children participate in the 2011 PALS camp.

Hundreds of youth from early elementary through high school arrive each week, bringing energy and enthusiasm for the camps, activities and events that both introduce them to Purdue and encourage their pursuit of excellence in academics, athletics, research and more. We enjoy seeing and hearing these students and we're proud that we can be part of their growth and development.

Among these outstanding activities is the PALS camp, which for the 10th year is bringing students ages 8-14 to campus for lessons on self-esteem, life skills, friendship and art. This camp has served more than 2,000 students since its inception in 2002. The lessons learned during the four-week program are those that students carry with them long after the summer ends. This year, the number of participants rose to 500 students. To view a gallery of pictures from this year's PALS camp, click here.

Purdue's summer outreach also has included a 20th reunion for Camp Calcium participants. The event on June 25 invited more than 400 alumni of the program back to campus to celebrate a successful legacy of summer research on calcium requirements and dietary guidelines for teenagers. Connie Weaver, distinguished professor and head of the Department of Nutrition Science at Purdue, hailed the research conducted over the past 20 years but also pointed to the camp as a unique opportunity for high school students to experience life on a college campus.

Meanwhile, on the south side of campus, aspiring veterinarians gathered late last month for Boiler Vet Camp, a weeklong series of lectures and hands-on experience at our School of Veterinary Medicine. Forty high school students from across the country arrived and were partnered with dogs donated by a local Humane Society. Over the week they received instruction on the animal's care and training -- with the goal of preparing the animal for adoption -- and learned firsthand what being a veterinarian means.

A camper at 2010 Operation L.E.A.D.

A camper at last year’s Operation Purple camp for military families.

This month, Purdue's Military Family Research Institute (MFRI) hosts a camp for teenagers of military families called Operation: L.E.A.D. The youth, ages 12-17, will take part in sessions aimed at building trust and relationships, stress management, and critical thinking. Activities like archery, swimming, and visits to local museums are also part of the program. Purdue's MFRI is nationally recognized as a leader in serving the families of those in our armed forces. This camp, similar to last year’s Operation Purple camp, shines a spotlight on the type of meaningful programming MFRI offers.

Elsewhere on campus, athletics camps for basketball, football, volleyball, swimming and diving, and more bring young athletes to learn from some of their college heroes. And gifted students of all ages take part in specialized camps in computer science, engineering, the arts, and many other disciplines.

Jason Lestina

Jason Lestina is a STATEment Maker.

Our summer programs can be a remarkable experience for youth, and we are pleased to host them on our campus.

While our college students are away for summer break, we continue to recognize the achievements of student leaders, in particular their contributions to Indiana. The July edition of our "5 Students Who ..." Web feature highlights some of the most memorable students from the past year, focusing on those who are making a positive impact on the State of Indiana. One such student is Jason Lestina, a junior in public relations and rhetorical advocacy from Fishers, Indiana. To read more, visit 5 Students Who ... .

To our visiting summer campers, welcome to Purdue's campus! We hope you enjoy your time with us and hope to see you back again.

Best wishes to all for a fun and safe summer!

Hail Purdue!


France A. Córdova