sealPurdue News

January 22, 2003

Boeing, Purdue partnership promotes diversity, innovation

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The Boeing Company and Purdue University today (Wednesday, 1/22) announced an educational partnership focused on providing women and minority engineering and business students with opportunities for continuing their education.

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Underpinning this partnership is a four-year, $1 million grant from Boeing to Purdue for a variety of academic scholarships, programs, organizations and projects supporting student development.

Boeing's grant to Purdue is part of an educational partnership with the university that helps support academic scholarships, programs and projects in computer science, business and the Schools of Engineering.

"The future of higher education is absolutely dependent on university-corporate partnerships such as this one," said Purdue President, Martin C. Jischke. "We are partners with Boeing in helping provide opportunities for students to be educated in the most advanced, emerging technologies. Industry benefits through university research, and we aspire to provide our corporate partners with talented graduates."

In addition to today's $1 million grant, Boeing's partnership with Purdue also is reinforced by a variety of other investments. These investments include an endowment awarded in 1993 that currently provides more than a dozen scholarships annually, donations of computer-aided design stations and a wind tunnel for aerodynamic testing, support of students in intern and co-op programs, funding for research and development projects, and executive participation on program and curriculum advisory councils.

To acknowledge Boeing's most recent gift, Jischke presented the university's highest honor, the Pinnacle Award, to David Swain, Boeing executive vice president, office of the chairman, and chief technology officer, who received the award on behalf of the Boeing Company.

"We are in the midst of transforming Boeing into a growing, global enterprise focused on defining the future of aerospace," Swain said. "Diversity and innovation are keys to our future success, and by strengthening our partnership with Purdue with this investment, we can help ensure the continued growth of diverse, intelligent, innovative and motivated people for the next generation of technical and business leaders for our workplace."

The Boeing-Purdue partnership programs are designed to stimulate and maintain interest in engineering and business career paths primarily among underrepresented students. Technical and critical skill development will be the primary focus of the programs for students majoring in aeronautics and astronautics, mechanical engineering, electrical and computer engineering, materials engineering, computer science and business.

Scholarships and grants will support the following:

• Six, four-year diversity scholarships will provide annual support for women and minority students in engineering and computer science.

• Three four-year and three one-year need-based scholarships will be awarded annually based on merit and financial need.

• Annual awards will be given to women and minority engineering programs designed to recruit, retain and successfully confer degrees to women and minority engineering students. These programs are intended to provide access to education and outreach support for women and minority students. Programs include precollege recruiting programs for elementary, middle and high school programs, career days, mentoring and retention programs.

• Annual support will be provided to the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics to support departmental needs and curriculum development.

• Annual support will be provided to the Schools of Engineering to support special projects, including outreach to K-12 programs, curriculum development and lab requirements. The EPICS program (Engineering Projects in Community Service) will receive annual support to help fund the multidisciplinary, undergraduate community service program. EPICS spans 20 different disciplines at the university and involves more than 300 students. Students work on a variety of community projects, including the design and construction of wetlands to reduce pollution and construction of houses for the needy.

• The Business Opportunity Program, established in 1968 at the Krannert School of Management, will receive annual funding to continue to give talented members of underrepresented groups an opportunity to move into the marketplace as business leaders. More than 500 minority undergraduates and 300 minority master's degree students have already graduated with scholarship help from this program.

Student organizations will be provided with annual allotments to support a range of senior-level national student organizations that include women and minorities. The support will be awarded to, and managed by, the on-campus organizations.

Writer: Jesica E. Webb, (765) 494-2079,

Sources: Martin C. Jischke, (765) 494-9708

Pamela Ritter, director of corporate relations, (765) 494-2733,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;


David Swain, Boeing executive vice president, office of the chairman, and chief technology officer, talks with Shedrick Bessent, a Purdue graduate student in electrical and computer engineering and Boeing scholarship recipient. Today (Wednesday, 1/22) Purdue and the Boeing Company announced a  partnership to help underrepresented students and those with the greatest financial need get an education at Purdue in engineering, computer sciences and business. (Purdue News Service photo/David Umberger)

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