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A Message from the President - May 2012

David Wolf

Alumnus astronaut David Wolf is the guest speaker for this month’s graduate student commencement.

Crossing the stage of Elliott Hall of Music may seem like a simple few steps for our graduates. Yet what it signifies is not simple at all.

This month, I will join more than 4,500 students -- individuals of all ages and from varied backgrounds -- as they cross that stage during commencement. This milestone marks the culmination of their experiences as students. Yet it signifies the beginning of their life as leaders and as responsible citizens of the world. Commencement marks the formation of a new class of Purdue alumni. I hope our graduates leave campus with the desire to remain students-at-heart always, continue to grow and learn, and stay close to Purdue.

This year's commencement marks a special occasion as we welcome astronaut and alumnus David Wolf back to campus to speak at our graduate student commencement on May 13. Wolf has logged nearly 170 days in space, most recently on the space shuttle Endeavour in 2009 when it rendezvoused with the International Space Station. We are honored to have him speak and I look forward to hearing his insights. He is a role model for our students as they launch new careers.

Jacqueline Borchert

Jacqueline Borchert is a Trail Maker.

In this month's 5 Students Who ... Web feature we highlight some of our graduating students who have made a difference during their college career. They are Trail Makers who have blazed their own path in student government, the local community and in the Indiana legislature. These students have had extraordinary journeys while at Purdue.

Supporting students' success means providing the very best tools and facilities for them to learn and conduct research, to become the leaders they aspire to be. This spring we have moved Purdue significantly forward on this front.

On April 17, we dedicated the new Marriott Hall in the center of campus. This state-of-the-art 40,000-square-foot facility is the new home of our nationally ranked School of Hospitality and Tourism Management. Bill Marriott was here to offer an inspirational story of his own path to success, and his admiration for the quality of our students.

Roland Parrish

Alumnus Roland Parrish speaks during the dedication of the Roland G. Parrish Library of Management and Economics.

We also dedicated the renovated and newly named Roland G. Parrish Library of Management and Economics. We held celebration events for the planned Center for Student Excellence and Leadership; Lyles-Porter Hall, which will house the University's nationally ranked Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences; and the new $25 million Drug Discovery Building.

These celebrations are the result of Purdue's many generous donors and friends; all believe in the University’s ability to impact the world and improve lives. This passion is at the heart of the Boilermaker spirit.

I was delighted last month to be invited by our Purdue student leaders to deliver the "Last Lecture" to students, faculty and staff in Loeb Playhouse. This event is one where faculty and administrators traditionally share advice or insights, as if they were giving their last lecture. The enthusiasm and curiosity of our students continues to inspire me, and although I was there to share my own life lessons with them, I took away as many from them. I thank our students for this opportunity.

Congratulations to all of our graduating students. Be bold as you make your mark on the world!

Boiler Up!


France A. Córdova