Purdue donates Big Ten funds to community organizations

September 19, 2013  

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue University announced Thursday (Sept. 19) that it is donating funds received from the Big Ten Conference to four local community groups. The donations stem from sanctions by the conference against Penn State handed down following the investigation of child sexual abuse by former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky. Revenue Penn State would have earned – totaling nearly $2.3 million – was divided in 12 ways among all Big Ten schools, including Penn State.

Each school received $188,344 to donate to local organizations of their choice, provided the organization's mission is focused on protection and advocacy for children. Purdue divided its portion of the revenue to distribute to four local community organizations, with each receiving a $47,086.05 donation.

Recipient organizations are Read to Succeed, a volunteer program that allows community members to spend one hour per week in local classrooms helping children learn to read; College Mentors for Kids, an organization that pairs "Little Buddies" in grades 1-6 with college student mentors; PALS, a program that aims to inspire kids to stay active and healthy; and Junior Achievement, an organization dedicated to educating students about workforce readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy.

"This generous gift from Purdue will directly benefit children in our community and continues a partnership that has helped local students develop their literacy skills by partnering with volunteer mentors," said James Taylor, CEO of the United Way of Greater Lafayette, which oversees the Read to Succeed initiative in partnership with Greater Lafayette Commerce and the three public school corporations.

"That Purdue is able to reach out and contribute to efforts within our local community that help children allows us to reward those who work hard on childhood development," said Morgan Burke, Purdue's director of intercollegiate athletics. "Intercollegiate Athletics is proud to support these community organizations that contribute so meaningfully to the education, safety and cultural awareness of local children, values in which we are all invested."

Writer: Barbara Leonard, 765-494-2972, bhleonard@purdue.edu

Source: Morgan Burke, 765- 494-3189, mjb@purdue.edu

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