sealPurdue News

September 11, 2001

USMC gives post-Cold War electronic equipment to Purdue

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Call it a Cold War dividend. The U.S. Marines Corps, together with other government agencies, is giving $585,000 worth of electronic testing equipment to Purdue University’s School of Technology.

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"This marks the beginning of a mutually beneficial partnership that benefits both Purdue and the technological readiness of our nation's armed forces," said Purdue President Martin C. Jischke during a reception today (Tuesday, 9/11).

Jischke announced the gift as part of the university's weeklong Discover Purdue Week celebration, which concludes with the Purdue-Notre Dame football game Saturday (9/15). Discover Purdue Week, in turn, kicks off a yearlong campaign to help Hoosiers "Discover Purdue."

Officially, the equipment, ranging from $500 bench multimeters to $60,000 super high-frequency sweep generators, comes from the Marines, the National Science Foundation, General Services Administration and the Defense Reutilization Management Office.

Terrence P. O’Connor, an associate professor of electrical engineering technology, is coordinating distribution of the gift from his New Albany, Ind., site of the School of Technology’s Statewide Technology Program.

Terrence P. O'Connor

"I worked for a year and a half with two retired Marines under contract with the USMC to distribute excess equipment to universities and technical colleges," O’Connor said. "We’ll distribute it to the five Statewide Technology sites that have electrical engineering technology offerings.

"This is fully functional, refurbished and calibrated, high-quality equipment that we’d either have to buy or do without, given the current university budget situation."

O’Connor says the equipment gift may not be just a one-time occurrence. There is other electronic gear gathering post-Cold War, military downsizing dust. O’Connor says the USMC also is interested in the School of Technology’s implementing a distance-education degree program in electronics for the Marines.

Lt. Col. Marie Juliano said: "We are stewards of public funds not only when we are buying weapons systems. My philosophy is let's put taxpayer dollars back into the community, and because there is such an emphasis on education today, both inside and outside the military, this is an appropriate home for this equipment."

Longer range, Juliano's vision includes "building a relationship that will give our Marines and Sailors the vehicle and capability to gain a college education via distance education while on active duty."

Of particular concern to Juliano and the Marine Corps is the retention of metrologists – personnel trained in electronic calibration and administration, who are in high demand in the civilian sector.

Purdue's School of Technology Statewide Delivery System began offering statewide delivery of technology classes in 1983 to provide Indiana with the trained technologists needed for economic growth and to provide a means for employees to update and add to their skills. This fall, 1,740 students were enrolled in classes taught in Anderson, Columbus, Elkhart, Indianapolis, Kokomo, Lafayette, Muncie, New Albany, Richmond, South Bend and Versailles.

Gifts announced earlier during Discovery Week, which began Friday (9/7), include:

• $40 million to pair with state, federal and other funds to build the $51 million Birck Nanotechnology Center, the first portion of the university's new Discovery Park. Michael and Katherine (Kay) Birck, of Hinsdale, Ill., gave $30 million. Michael Birck is chairman of Tellabs Inc., which develops and manufactures special telecommunications equipment and is based in Lisle, Ill. Kay Birck is head of nursing at Women's Healthcare of Hinsdale. He is originally from Clinton, Ind., and she is a native of Terre Haute, Ind. Donald and Carol Scifres, natives of Greater Lafayette, donated $10 million. Donald Scifres is co-chairman of the board of JDS Uniphase Corp., an optical communications company in San Jose, Calif., and Ottowa, Canada.

• A multimillion dollar gift of insecticide patents from DuPont. Purdue researchers will explore additional uses for the findings behind the patents, and the university will be entitled to any profits from that effort.

Later this week, gift announcements will include:

• A gift to the School of Consumer and Family Sciences and its Center for Families.

• A gift of real estate.

• Another gift to support Discovery Park, which will be a hub of interdisciplinary research and education. In addition to the nanotechnology facility, the park will include buildings for research involving bioscience/engineering and e-enterprises. An entrepreneurship center will help students and faculty learn how to pursue real-world applications for the technologies they develop.

• A gift to help retain and attract leading faculty.

• Another gift involving the $70 million Ross-Ade Stadium renovation project.

Writer: J. Michael Lillich, (765) 494-2077,

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

Terrence P. O’Connor, (812) 941-2228,

Lt. Col. Marie Juliano, (703) 784-4457,

Lt. Col. Marie Juliano spearheaded the U.S. Marine Corps program that donated $585,000 worth of electronic testing equipment to Purdue University's School of Technology and its Statewide Technology Program. She spoke at a reception on the West Lafayette campus today (Tuesday, 9/11). (Purdue University News Service photograph by David Umberger)

A publication-quality photograph is available at the News Service Web site and at the ftp site. Photo ID:

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Terrence P. O'Connor, an associate professor of electrical engineering technology at the New Albany site of the Purdue University School of Technology's Statewide Technology Program, thanked the U.S. Marine Corps for the gift of $585,000 worth of electronic testing equipment at a reception on campus today (Tuesday, 9/11). (Purdue University News Service photograph by David Umberger)

A publication-quality photograph is available at the News Service Web site and at the ftp site. Photo ID: marine.gift2.jpeg

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