September 3, 2019

Purdue’s 150th anniversary finale begins with a promise to Indiana

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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — It is always about taking care of business at home.

Just a few weeks remain to celebrate Purdue’s 150th anniversary, and the land-grant institution is reminding Indiana and the world of its promise for the next 150 years, starting with higher education at the highest proven value.

Since last September, Purdue has celebrated astronauts, scientific innovations, student success and world-changing alumni as part of its Take Giant Leaps campaign. Eminent experts and thought leaders have visited campus the past year to discuss with Purdue scientists and students the most critical issues facing the world today. Take Giant Leaps has always been about looking forward, and it continues to build on a foundation of pursuing excellence.

Here is the university’s renewed pledge in leadership:

Affordability and accessibility: Eight straight years of frozen tuition, the Polytechnic high schools, the Back a Boiler ISA Fund and the Purdue Promise assistance program give Indiana families unprecedented access to a Purdue education. The Wall Street Journal calls Purdue “among the top 5 best values in the nation.”

Economic development: With a record-breaking year of 360 invention disclosures and over 230 commercial licenses executed, Purdue ranks top-12 globally in intellectual property production. Since 2014, more than 250 startups have taken root in Indiana.

Online education: Purdue University Global is offering easy access to higher education for Indiana’s working adults, providing premier opportunities that are personalized to their needs and ambitions.

STEM leadership: As a world-leading STEM university, with 10 programs ranked in the top 10 nationally, Purdue continues to build on its preeminent reputation with added faculty, increased enrollment and the creation of STEM-related centers.

World-changing research: For the fifth consecutive year, Purdue set a record for new sponsored research funding, generating $520.6 million in fiscal year 2019. We are an international research leader across a variety of fields, including drug discovery, with 16 drug trials currently underway and 56 more in the pipeline.

Transformative education: Purdue has led the charge by creating a Degree in 3 program for early graduation, prioritizing theory-based and team-project learning with the Purdue Polytechnic Institute, and helping shape the future of undergraduate education.

These initiatives are just part of Purdue’s promise to Indiana.

The public also is invited to participate in the closing 150th anniversary activities as they lead up to an astronaut reunion during Homecoming on Oct. 12. Some of the speakers include Condoleezza Rice, the 66th U.S. secretary of state; a presentation by noted planetary scientist Alan Stern; and author and journalist Walter Isaacson. Seminars about mental health and military members and the ethics of eating, and some fun too, including a 150th anniversairy-themed corn maze at Exploration Acres.  

Here is a list of events and more information can be found online.

* Sept. 3-5, Atoms for Humanity Summit.

* Sept. 4. Giant Leaps Series: Walter Isaacson.

* Sept. 17: Land O’Lakes Inc. leader Beth Ford.

* Sept. 17: Chen Guangcheng, The Barefoot Lawyer.

* Sept. 19: Jason Alexander, Krannert Leadership Speaker Series.

* Sept. 21: Amelia Earhart Aerospace Summit.

* Sept. 23: Gina Kolata, “What IF the Next Pandemic is Inevitable?”

* Sept. 26: Purdue 2050 Conference of the Future.

* Sept. 26: Ellen Ochoa, NASA astronaut and first Latina in space.

* Sept. 30: The Ethics of Eating.

* Oct. 2: Walter Koroshetz.

* Oct. 4: Dan Skovronsky.

* Oct. 9: Condoleezza Rice.

* Oct. 10: Alan Stern Invited Lecture.

* Oct. 12: Astronaut Reunion. 

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

Note to Journalists: A low-resolution steal image of the Block P is available at

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