Founding Donor – Lorene McCormick Burkhart

The Center for Families was founded in 1994 with a generous gift from Lorene McCormick Burkhart, alumna of the School of Consumer and Family Sciences at Purdue. In 2014, celebrating the 20th anniversary since she made her original gift, Lorene Burkhart sat down with Cheryl Altinkemer, Associate Vice President for International Advancement, to talk about the creation of CFF. According to Burkhart, when individuals make a gift, they express the values they care about. Read more about Lorene…

You can support research about families when you make a gift to the Lorene Burkhart Fund.

​​​​​Founding Director – Susan J. Kontos

Susan J. Kontos was the founding director of the Center for Families in 1994. She had been on the Purdue University faculty since 1985 and previously held faculty positions at Pennsylvania State University and the University of Northern Colorado. Kontos passed away in 2003 following a nine-year battle with cancer.

Her numerous contributions to the field included editorial positions with the Early Childhood Research Quarterly, Young Children, Early Childhood Research and Practice, and Child and Youth Care Forum, and service on key state-level early childhood committees in Indiana.

A message from Susan Kontos: “The Center for Families reinforces my strong conviction that families provide the glue that holds society together. I hope my gift will encourage my fellow alumni and friends to support the center. I have learned a lot about the power of philanthropy and want to use my gift to expand that power to improve family life in the future.” Read more about Susan Kontos…

You can support research about children when you make a gift to the Susan Kontos Fund.

CFF Founder: Connecting Academia to Hoosier Families – Ann C. Hancook

Susan Hancook Headshot

Former associate Dean in the School of Consumer and Family Sciences, and assistant director of the Purdue Extension, Ann C. Hancook, is remembered for her dedication to support studies about the health, development and wellbeing of adult family members. She passed away November 13, 1993 after battling cancer for two years. Throughout her 23 year career with the Extension Service, Dean Hancook was devoted to improving life opportunities for low-income families – health, well-being, and development of adults as individuals, parents, and partners.

Her tireless efforts to benefit Hoosier families set the stage within the School for the creation of the Center for Families. Read more about Ann Hancook…

You can support research about adults when you make a gift to the Ann Hancook Fund.

CFF Founder: Making Ideas a Reality  – Cheryl Altinkemer

Cheryl Altinkemer, Purdue University’s Senior Associate Vice President for International Advancement, was the development officer for the College of Consumer and Family Sciences (now the College of Health and Human Sciences) when the Center for Families was established. Early on, she worked closely with faculty to identify possible areas of giving and connect those possibilities to people who wanted to support Purdue.

Before CFF’s establishment in 1994, Purdue was in the midst of the Vision 21 Campaign – one of the first major fundraising initiatives at Purdue. Cheryl worked closely with the dean of the college, Don Felker, who served as a mentor and advisee to ensure CFS and an alumni base of predominately women would have a visionary campaign. He passed away unexpectedly and in honor of his life, she and others created the Felker Leadership conference to highlight women, leadership and philanthropy. Read more about Cheryl Altinkemer…