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A Message from the President - September 2011

Our campus is back to its regular hum of activity. Classes are in full swing and I am happy to see our students developing their routines.

Pete on campus

Purdue Pete participates in campus activities during first week of classes.

The start of classes represents new beginnings for everyone in the Purdue community. Whether buying books for class, getting an ID picture taken, choosing clubs to join, making a fountain run, or calculating the best times to eat at the dining hall, our students are making the most of their first weeks of school. Our outstanding faculty members are busy greeting, teaching, and advising students.

We thought we'd ask Purdue Pete to share some of our first-week activities with you. See Pete in action on YouTube!

Purdue welcomed the new academic year with the announcement of increased rankings that reflect excellence among our students and faculty. For 2011, Purdue ranked 61st in the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ACWU), up from 69th last year. We also moved up in SmartMoney magazine's college "payback" survey, ranking seventh nationally, up two places from last year. This survey measures the value of a Purdue degree -- and Purdue students -- in the marketplace.

Mary Schott

Mary Schott

This month's "5 Students Who ... " web feature highlights some of our outstanding students who are passionate about the environment. One of these is Mary Schott, a master's student in horticulture from Attica, Ind. She is using her research to address deforestation issues in one of the poorest places on Earth: the Kigoma Province of western Tanzania. I am looking forward to working closely with more than 30 freshmen students in my President's Leadership Class; this year's theme for the class is Global Purdue.

A new outdoor space in front of the Purdue Armory is under construction. The newly designed Freedom Square will be a gathering place to honor our military men and women and celebrate freedom. It is a fitting tribute that the square will be dedicated on the tenth anniversary of the September 11th attacks. The dedication begins at 2 p.m. at the corner of University and Third streets. If you would like to join us to mark this important event, please email the Office of Special Events at

Purdue students, professors, alumni and staff shine among their peers and strive to have a positive impact on the world around them. During this time of new beginnings, I urge you all to make the most of what Purdue has to offer.

Best wishes for a great start and a successful semester!

Hail Purdue!


France A. Córdova