sealPurdue Letter from the President

February, 1998

February is a month that is short on days, but there has been no shortage of activity at Purdue in recent weeks. In this letter, I'd like to give you brief updates of some of the things that have been happening here.

In addition to being a gifted university administrator, Don has broad and deep experience working with state government and private business. Among his challenges will be to create a master plan for the various Purdue initiatives and to create a single entry point for anyone seeking access to these Purdue resources. I believe Purdue can greatly enhance its economic value to the state if Don is successful in mobilizing these programs. The initial response to his appointment was very enthusiastic, so he already is off to a great start.

The rankings are based on surveys of higher education administrators and professors and certain data supplied to the magazine by the institutions. While it is reassuring to have Purdue do so well in these evaluations, I believe the idea of ranking universities in this way is a flawed concept. Just as every individual is unique, every higher education institution has its own personality and its own set of strengths. For some students, Purdue is the best choice they could make. Others might be happier and more successful at another university or college. The most important choice a student makes is the decision to pursue a degree. After that, some careful reading and campus visits usually lead to the right selection.

Another highlight of the event was the announcement of a gift of $110,000 toward the construction of the new building from the Mamon Powers Foundation. Mamon Powers Jr. is a 1970 Purdue graduate and a member of Purdue's Board of Trustees. He is president of the Powers Construction Co., one of the most successful construction firms in Indiana.

People from all sectors of the Purdue community have contributed to the Black Cultural Center project. I'm very pleased that after 25 years of outstanding programming, the Center will move into a building that is worthy of its quality.

Steven C. Beering