A Plan and a Purpose

Story by Chris Adam, photo provided

The Department of Nutrition Science now has its first named professorship, thanks to a gift from longtime Purdue supporter and alumna Patsy Mellott.

Mellott’s “giving back plan,” as she calls it, started 25 years ago when she and her 1969 classmates of the former School of Home Economics provided funding to create a sensory lab for the foods department. The department is now known as the Department of Nutrition Science and resides in the College of Health and Human Sciences. Since then, she has continued giving to Purdue through her endowed scholarships and teaching innovation award.

Now, through her estate, she is creating the first named nutrition professorship, a gift allowing the department to attract and retain top researchers to the University.

“Designating how my estate gift is to be used to benefit Purdue and students of the future meant finding an appropriate way to connect my education, my food industry career, and my personal health interest with an opportunity to make a difference,” Mellott says. “I also identified that a professorship would mean impacting classrooms of students who could then continue to make a difference in their communities.”

She also is creating an endowment that will provide internships for students through the University’s Women’s Global Health Institute.

“For me, it is about leaving a lasting legacy, especially in areas where I feel a connection, have a passion and can make a difference that’s uniquely linked to my core values,” Mellott says. Mellott enjoyed a successful 36-year marketing career in the food industry, holding a wide array of positions with Campbell Soup Company in Camden, New Jersey, and Kraft Foods in Chicago.

The name of the professorship has not yet been decided.

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