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October 2020 Newsletter

COVID-19 Information from Purdue

Although we are continuing to keep families updates with information sent to the Purdue community, for the most up-to-date information and FAQ's please visit the Protect Purdue website, and the Purdue COVID-19 Dashboard.

ReEntry Purdue Atmosphere

Life on campus looks different this year, but a new initiative for campus activities aims to boost the residential student experience while keeping the campus community safe.

Purdue University’s Office of Student Life is rolling out ReEntry Purdue Atmosphere, a plan to provide safe spaces for students to carry out campus activities with new and existing spaces on campus – all while abiding by the guidelines spelled out in the Protect Purdue Plan. Read more.

New Metrics Added to Protect Purdue COVID-19 Dashboard

Two additional metrics have been added to the Protect Purdue COVID-19 dashboard, providing additional transparency and information around the COVID-19 cases on our campus. 

A distribution of the severity of COVID-19 cases, as measured by the Protect Purdue Health Center (PPHC), represents the highest reported severity for each case. The severity levels, ranging from asymptomatic to severe, are based primarily on what symptoms (if any) the patient exhibits and whether the individual has any comorbidities that make them more vulnerable to serious illness.

The dashboard also includes the number of current and cumulative COVID-19-associated hospitalizations.

These additional metrics build on the university’s reporting of ongoing COVID-19 results for testing administered by PPHC since Aug. 1, 2020, for faculty, staff and students, including student-athletes, and the occupancy of campus isolation and quarantine space, among other key measures.

Spring 2021 Alternative Academic Calendar

Spring 2021 instruction will begin Tuesday, Jan. 19; to allow for this later start and to minimize mass travel to and from campus during the semester, the customary spring break period has been eliminated. In its place, three reading days have been added throughout the semester. More about the Spring semester announcement.

Update on seasonal flu shot requirement for students

A reminder that the Purdue Board of Trustees approved adding the annual influenza vaccination to the requirements for enrolled students as a condition to being on campus as a part of the university’s pandemic response measures and the Protect Purdue initiative. More information is available here.

Purdue partners with Greater Lafayette leaders for community public health pledges to combat COVID-19 spread

Purdue University has collaborated with West Lafayette, Lafayette and Tippecanoe County leaders to craft Protect Greater Lafayette partner and individual pledges, asking the community to voluntarily join the University’s campuswide commitment to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

The Protect Greater Lafayette Partner Pledge, created in alignment with the Protect Purdue Pledge for students, faculty and staff, outlines nine public health measures that community partners, businesses and organizations can embrace in the fight against COVID-19. The effort is advanced through eight similar points in the Protect Greater Lafayette Community Member Pledge for individuals in the community. Read more. Businesses that have pledged.

Featured Stories   

Pursuing Racial Justice Together October Events

The Pursuing Racial Justice Together Learning Series continues in October with virtual lectures from prominent journalists, award-winning researchers, and more.

Hear from citizen of the Cherokee Nation and activist Rebecca Nagel, race sociologist Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, The Promise of a Just America panel, featuring Ana Navarro, Amy Holmes, Michael Steele, and guest moderator Juan Williams, and Democracy in Black, featuring Soledad O'Brien, Charles M. Blow, Tara Setmayer, and guest moderator Michele Norris.

Learn more about each event here.

Parent & Family Virtual Events

Parent & Family Connections is excited to continue to bring families virtual opportunities to learn more about resources at Purdue so you can best guide your student. You can find previous Virtual Events on the Parent & Family Connections YouTube Channel, and find a list of upcoming events on the Parent & Family Connections website.

Mackey Arena to Serve as Vote Center in 2020 Election

Purdue University and the Tippecanoe County Board of Elections have announced that Mackey Arena will serve as a vote center for the 2020 Election.
The facility will be open from 11 a.m., to 6 p.m. ET, on Oct. 14, for on-campus early voting and then again from 6 a.m., to 6 p.m., on Nov. 3, for day-of voting.
The vote center, which will consist of 10 voting stations on Oct. 14, and 15 on Nov. 3, will be open to Purdue faculty, staff, students and all visitors. By Indiana State Election Law, all vote centers must be open to the general public. The Mackey Arena location allows for a vote center without bringing visitors to the center of campus. More about the vote center in Mackey. For updates about voting at Purdue, visit the Purdue Votes webpage, follow Purdue Votes Coalition on Instagram at @CELDPurdue or on Facebook.

Anonymous $1M cash gift to establish scholarships for Black engineering students at Purdue

An anonymous $1 million cash gift from a member of the Purdue University College of Engineering community will establish scholarships named in honor of the college’s first Black graduate as an impetus to energize and expand ongoing support to recruit and retain Black engineering students.

This gift extends a trend that has seen the total number of endowed scholarships for underrepresented minorities surge since 2013—from 43 to 140 as of Aug. 31 —with committed dollars quadrupling from $4.7 million to $17.2 million. Read more.

Purdue has the chemistry lab of the future today, complete with all-digital lab manuals and notebooks

Configuring socially distanced lab spaces for 2,900 general chemistry students was logistically impossible, so Purdue University’s beginning chemistry labs are taking place online this fall, the next best thing to being there.

Or maybe better.

Well before the virus pandemic, Purdue's Department of Chemistry was working on a “next-generation digital learning environment for chemistry.” That it happened to be highly useful in a pandemic is just fortuitous. While the virus accelerated development over the summer, the motive from the start in 2018 was to better apply technology to improve the student learning experience. Read more.

Purdue program provides nationwide model for liberal arts in higher ed

A Purdue University program provides the basis for a new initiative aimed at reinvigorating the liberal arts on college campuses across the country. The Teagle Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) are partnering to sponsor Cornerstone: Learning for Living, a program model based upon the innovative Cornerstone Integrated Liberal Arts certificate developed by the College of Liberal Arts. The NEH and the Teagle Foundation have committed a minimum of $7 million to the initiative.

Cornerstone: Learning for Living is designed to provide all students with the opportunity to broaden their understanding of the world and themselves, while strengthening the skills to read closely, write clearly, speak with confidence, and to engage with differing viewpoints and perspectives through general education courses. The initiative emphasizes gateway courses aimed at incoming students and is anchored in transformative texts — the greatest that has been thought, said and written across human history. Read more.

Updates from Study Abroad – Spring & Summer 2021

The study abroad office continues to work with students to provide study abroad opportunities. Students planning to study abroad in Spring 2021 are working closely with their study abroad and academic advisors to plan and have a contingency plan, and deposit refund policies have been adjusted to allow students more flexibility. Decisions on Spring 2021 study abroad programs are planned to be made by November 2nd.

Students looking to study abroad in Summer 2021 are encouraged to check out our new video “How to Pick a Study Abroad Program” and to work with the study abroad office to determine the best fit for them. Summer 2021 study abroad programs are currently planned to be running, although some program options may not appear on our website until mid-November. Scholarships for Summer 2021 are available, and more details can be found here.

Student Employment

Is your student searching for a job for the fall or spring semester? Look no further than Purdue Student Employment! Purdue Student Employment is the best place to gain core competency skills like communication and decision making while earning a steady pay with flexible hours. Intrigued? Be sure to attend the Purdue Student Employment Virtual Job Fair. The job fair will be held Wednesday, October 21 from 11am – 4pm and will give students who are looking for a job at Purdue to chat with various Purdue departments and learn about possible opportunities, whether it be on-campus, remote, or eligible for work-study. For more information, visit

“Giant Leaps @ Home,” Purdue University’s 2020 Homecoming celebration will take place virtually this year, from Monday, November 9, through Saturday, November 14.

In keeping with the Protect Purdue Plan, the university’s comprehensive strategy to keep campus safe by limiting the spread of COVID-19, this year’s Homecoming will forgo in-person gatherings and, instead, offer the Purdue family around the globe an array of virtual programming that celebrates the university’s storied history and the traditions, memories, and spirit that bind us together.

Planning for Purdue’s first ever Virtual Homecoming is still underway. Join us live daily from 12-1pm EST to hear the latest from university leadership and the colleges as well as get information on campus-wide happenings. Campus partners will be hosting various events throughout the course of the week and details will be added to our Reunions and Registered Events page as plans become finalized for you to learn more. We have exciting plans underway that can be accessed on the website during the week of events that will include opportunities to tour campus facilities, compete for prizes in our online scavenger hunt and much, much more!

Homecoming week will conclude on November 14 with the Purdue game against Northwestern University and awarding the Homecoming Pillars of Excellency winners. Game time is still to be announced. Read more about Homecoming 2020.


October 16, Second 8-week courses begin

October 24, Boilermaker football resumes

October 27, Last day to withdraw from a course with a W or WF grade; Last day to add/modify a course with instructor, advisor, and department head signature (5 p.m. Eastern)

October 31, students must submit flu vaccination documentation

November 24, Face-to-face instruction ends

November 25-28, Thanksgiving Vacation

November 30, Remote instruction (through end of semester)

December 5, Classes end

December 7-12, Final Exams

December 12, Semester Ends

January 19, Spring Semester Begins

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