Meet the President

Jump to other news and events
Purdue University home page

A Message from the President - October 2011

Jason Kienzle

Jason Kienzle is a Path Maker

Autumn on our beautiful campus is full of color and activity -- students are immersed in their studies, clubs and social events; alumni are returning for football, Homecoming and other special moments.

For some of our students -- those who are the first in their family to go to college -- fall is about finding new opportunities and blazing a new trail. Meet some of these "Path Makers" in this month’s "5 Students Who …" Web feature.

Helping our students succeed is of paramount importance to every member of the Purdue community. Success initiatives for students -- whether they are first-generation, first-year or continuing -- abound at Purdue and we are proud of the work they do in helping make college a positive and life-changing experience.

This year’s freshmen are breaking records with the highest average high school GPA and SAT scores in Purdue history. This reflects how well our students prepare for college, making their academic success more likely. In fact, first- and second-year retention rates are both at all-time highs, too. You can learn more about programs that help our students advance through our Student Access, Transition and Success (SATS) Programs website.

Purdue faculty members also continue to excel. Rakesh Agrawal, the Winthrop E. Stone Distinguished Professor in the School of Chemical Engineering, is the recipient of the National Medal of Technology and Innovation.

Rakesh Agrawal

Professor Rakesh Agrawal (right) is a National Medal of Technology and Innovation recipient. This honor will be presented by President Barack Obama and is the highest honor for technological achievement.

Demetra Evangelou

Demetra Evangelou

In addition, Demetra Evangelou, assistant professor of engineering education, is among 94 researchers named recipients of the prestigious Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. The award is the highest honor given by the U.S. Government to science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers. Congratulations to Professors Agrawal and Evangelou.

Last month, Purdue celebrated an extraordinary gift of $10 million from the Nanshan Group, China's second-largest aluminum company. The gift will boost international programs, scholarships and various research and training opportunities. This generous contribution builds on our relationship with Nanshan and with educational and economic partners around the globe.

Another cause for celebration this month will be the dedication of Bill and Sally Hanley Hall, which is the new home of Purdue’s Human Development Institute and includes child classroom laboratories, conference rooms and interdisciplinary research centers. October also brings the dedication of the Roger B. Gatewood Wing, an expansion of the Mechanical Engineering Building and Purdue’s first facility with LEED certification for environmental standards. Thanks to many faculty, staff, alumni and friends who helped make both of these buildings and the opportunities inside them possible.

Finally, Purdue will celebrate Homecoming on October 22 when the Boilermakers meet the Fighting Illini at Ross-Ade Stadium. Many alumni will travel back to campus that weekend to celebrate and take part in the many activities we have planned. I look forward to seeing a sea of gold and black on the Purdue Mall and in the stadium! Go Boilers!

Hail Purdue!


France A. Córdova