March 20, 2018

Purdue’s WIEP directorship to be named for former College of Engineering dean

Leah-Jamieson Leah Jamieson (Photo/Purdue College of Engineering) Download image

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue University College of Engineering leaders will host a celebration Wednesday (March 21) for the naming of the directorship of the Women in Engineering program for former Dean Leah Jamieson.

The WIEP directorship has been named in Jamieson’s honor in recognition of her 11 years of service as dean and for her work in encouraging women to become engineers. The celebration will be at 3 p.m. in the Kurz Atrium of the Neil Armstrong Hall of Engineering.

As part of the directorship naming, a $1 million gift from alumnus and former Board of Trustees member John Edwardson in 2017 was matched with fundraising to create a $2 million endowment for WIEP.

Jamieson joined the Purdue faculty in 1976 and was selected the John A. Edwardson Dean of Engineering in 2006.

Purdue’s WIEP was the first program of its kind in the nation dedicated to women in engineering. For Jamieson, working to bring more women into engineering has been among her career-long goals.

“I am deeply honored by this recognition and by the outpouring of support that made the WIEP endowment possible,” she said. “The opportunity to have a lasting impact on the number, well-being, and success of women in engineering at Purdue – to be a part of the long and proud history of WIEP – touches my heart.”

Jamieson became the dean in 2006 and completed her term in June 2017. She remains the Ransburg Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Current Dean Mung Chiang said naming the directorship for Jamieson is the latest step in encouraging women in engineering.

“We are very proud of Purdue’s Women in Engineering program, the first in the nation, as it grows into its sixth decade next year,” he said. “Since 1969, thanks to the tireless effort by generations of colleagues, we have come a long way to support women students and faculty in engineering.

“There are still miles to go, and we must continue to intensify our effort as we recognize one of the inspiring legacies of Dean Jamieson this week.” 

Edwardson’s gift honors Jamieson by establishing the Leah H. Jamieson Director of the Women in Engineering Program. Current program director Beth Holloway is the first to serve under the new title. The endowment also creates a component of perpetual funding for WIEP, which in the past was dependent on annual gifts.

A piece of abstract art created by Joanne Kuhn Titolo and Kathleen Kitch also will be dedicated at Wednesday’s event. It will be placed on the first floor of Armstrong Hall near the WIEP offices.

More than 100 people, including faculty, staff and endowment donors, are expected to attend the event.

Jamieson’s term as dean was marked by record growth in Engineering’s enrollment and faculty and staff size, among other areas. The number of female faculty grew by 90 percent and the number of underrepresented minority faculty by 46 percent.

Since 1969, WIEP has been dedicated to enriching the profession of engineering through the full participation of women. Every year, the program reaches out to more than 4,000 girls and young women — from elementary school through graduate school — in an effort to increase recruitment, retention and graduation of female engineering students.

As of the 2016-17 academic year, 25 percent of Engineering undergraduate students were women and 23 percent of graduate students.

Writer: Brian L. Huchel, 765-494-2084,

Sources: Leah Jamieson, 765-494-3653,

Mung Chiang, 765-494-5346,

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