September 20, 2019

Purdue announces Homecoming Pillars of Excellency

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue is celebrating its land-grant legacy by establishing the merit-based Homecoming Pillars of Excellency to honor three students during this year’s Homecoming celebration, which marks the end of the university’s 150th anniversary celebration.  

The Purdue Student Union Board created this honor to recognize students who exemplify education and scholarship, service and leadership, and research and innovation.

Purdue juniors and seniors will receive information about the application process and respective deadlines through BoilerLink. The winning students will be selected by a committee and then recognized during the Oct. 12 Homecoming football game. They also will receive a $1,000 scholarship.

The merit-based Homecoming Pillars of Excellency replaces the homecoming court. Homecoming court has always been organized by the Purdue Student Union Board, and student interest has dropped in recent years. After seeing applications decline over the years, the Purdue Student Union Board students previously increased recruiting efforts and last year they tried a new general Homecoming court model similar to what other schools have used. These Purdue student leaders working with campus leaders have decided to build on that and make a new tradition, said Beth McCuskey, vice provost for student life.

“This is a great way to honor the legacy of Purdue’s land-grant mission rooted in learning, service and research, and at the same time look to the future of how to recognize the university’s top students who are working in research labs, volunteering in the community or creating their own companies,” McCuskey said. “We hope this merit-based approach including a scholarship, will encourage more students to compete for these honors.”

About the merit-based categories

The teaching and scholarship pillar will recognize a top student who has demonstrated qualities such as a commitment to learning through serving as a teaching assistant or mentor, or who has participated in an internship or co-op position.

The service and leadership pillar will recognize a top student who has demonstrated qualities by serving in a leadership role, participated in Purdue organizations, mentored others or volunteered for at least 150 hours within the past year.

The research and innovation pillar will recognize a top student who has demonstrated the following criteria, including 150 hours of verified research, been a member of a team that published research, created a unique solution to problems faced within their research area, or founded or participated in a startup company or project.

More information about Purdue Homecoming activities is available online

Writer: Amy Patterson Neubert, 765-494-9723,

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