Welcome Back Message from President Daniels and Provost Akridge

August 19, 2019

Dear Boilermakers,

We write today to welcome each of you to the 2019-20 academic year — and extend a special welcome to those undergraduates, graduate students, staff and faculty new to Purdue this fall. We could not be more excited that you have chosen to join us at this exceptional time for what is now your University.

Students, as we begin the new semester, please know that we are committed to providing an environment where you can realize your highest aspirations. We hope Purdue challenges each of you intellectually and provides opportunities for you to grow as a leader, as a citizen, as a person. We hope equally that you will challenge yourself, in the courses you take and the experiences you pursue — and that you will work hard to excel in all you do.

As an institution of higher education, Purdue exists to promote and further the advancement of knowledge, both yours and the world’s. This is only possible in an atmosphere where diverse opinions and differing ideas are not only allowed, but encouraged. We are determined that Purdue continue to be a place where the concerns often voiced about higher education — conformity of thought, intolerance of dissent — will not be proved right.

To that end, at Purdue we protect and promote the right to free and open inquiry in all matters and guarantee all members of the University community the broadest possible latitude to speak, write, listen, challenge and learn. This commitment is documented in The Purdue Principles https://www.purdue.edu/purdue/about/free-speech.php. 

With this right comes important responsibility. As Boilermakers, we must hold ourselves to a higher standard that begins with civility and respect for others. Racism, anti-Semitism, bigotry and other forms of discrimination have no place on this campus. We are all Boilermakers, and each of you is a valued member of our community.

So, as you begin this new academic year, we encourage you to respect the right of others to express ideas you may passionately disagree with and to accept the responsibility to speak out vigorously against those whose words run counter to the values we all hold true as Boilermakers — those of integrity, respect, honor, inclusion, innovation and growth.

We wish you every success in the coming year.


Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr. 

Jay T. Akridge
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Diversity