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Purdue University

Purdue University is the flagship campus of the Purdue University system and a public land-grant research university in West Lafayette, Indiana. Lafayette businessman John Purdue gave land and money to create a college of science, technology, and agriculture in his honor in 1869. The inaugural courses, with six professors and 39 students, were held on September 16, 1874. Major institutional rankings have recognized it as one of the greatest public institutions in the United States.

Purdue University

More than 200 undergraduate majors, over 70 master's and doctoral programs, and professional degrees in pharmacy are available on the main campus in West Lafayette. Purdue also boasts 18 intercollegiate athletic teams and over 900 student clubs. Purdue is a founding member of the Big Ten Conference, with the largest student body of any university campus in Indiana and the ninth-largest international student population of any university in the United States.

The university's agricultural, food, life, and natural resource science departments are supported by the college of agriculture. The college also backs the university's mission as a land-grant institution, which is to help agriculture across the state. Purdue University's College of Engineering was founded in 1874 and offered civil and mechanical engineering majors. The College of Health and Human Sciences is the newest college, having been founded in 2010. All ten of its academic units provide B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees. Purdue's College of Liberal Arts houses the university's arts, social science, and humanities programs. Purdue University has offered liberal arts courses since its inception in 1874.

The college of pharmacy at the university was founded in 1884 and is the third-oldest state-funded pharmacy school in the country. The school provides two undergraduate programs that lead to the professional degrees of B.S. in Pharmaceutical Sciences (BSPS) and Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.). Three departments provide graduate programs leading to M.S. and Ph.D. degrees (Industrial and Physical Pharmacy, Medicinal Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, and Pharmacy Practice). The school also provides a number of non-degree certificate programs as well as post-graduate continuing education opportunities.

Purdue Polytechnic Institute awards bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees in a variety of technology-related fields. It is one of the largest technical schools in the United States, with over 30,000 live graduates.

The AVMA has accredited the College of Veterinary Medicine to offer the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree, associate's and bachelor's degrees in veterinary technology, master's and Ph.D. degrees, and specialty board certification residency programs.

The Honors College at Purdue sponsors a university-wide honors program for undergraduate students.


Purdue's campus is located in West Lafayette, a small town on the western side of the Wabash River, which separates West Lafayette from Lafayette. The northern and southern parts of campus are separated by State Street, which runs parallel to State Road 26. Academic buildings are largely in the east and south of campus, with residence halls and intramural fields to the west and sporting facilities to the north. With a Purdue ID, students, teachers, and employees can ride for free on the Greater Lafayette Public Transportation Corporation (City Bus) campus loop bus routes.

Purdue University's center quad, the Purdue Mall, was built to connect the academic campus with Ross-Ade Stadium. Because of its closeness to various technical facilities, it is also known as the Engineering Mall. The Engineering Fountain, which stands 38 feet (12 meters) tall, is the most visible element of the Purdue Mall.

The Purdue Memorial Mall is the original area of campus, located south of the Purdue Mall. The Stewart Center, Wetherill Laboratory of Chemistry, Stanley Coulter Hall, the Class of 1950 Lecture Hall, the Recitation Building, University Hall, and Stone Hall surround the grassy, open Memorial Mall, which is a favorite meeting spot for students. The Hello Walk is also located in the Memorial Mall. University Hall is the sole building from the original six-building complex that has survived.

Purdue's agriculture, fine arts, life sciences, and veterinary facilities are located south of State Street. Both undergraduate and graduate degree programs at the Krannert School of Management have been nationally and internationally ranked. The majority of business classes on campus are held in Krannert and Rawls Halls, which include state-of-the-art learning facilities. Jerry S. Rawls gave a $10 million gift to the management school in 2006, making Rawls Hall the largest gift in the school's history.

Student housing, eating, and recreation facilities are all located on campus' western side. The Córdova Recreational Sports Center allows students to participate in intramural and club sports.

Purdue Online

Purdue has a growing online presence, in addition to Purdue Global, through Purdue Online, the administrative unit charged with planning and enabling the effort. Purdue Online offers more than 200 programs through the university's four accredited institutions (Purdue West Lafayette, Purdue Northwest, Purdue Fort Wayne in Indiana, and Purdue Global), including master's degree programs. Purdue Online, a unified online education initiative approved by Purdue President Mitch Daniels and the Purdue Board of Trustees in December 2018, aims to significantly expand these options by creating a "coordinated, unified systemwide portfolio of online course and degree offerings for students of all types."

Organization and Administration

The university president, who is appointed by the board of trustees, is the university's chief administrative officer. Admissions and registration, student conduct and counseling, class administration and scheduling, student athletics and organized extracurricular activities, the libraries, faculty appointments and conditions of employment, non-faculty employee appointments and conditions of employment, the general organization of the university, and planning and administration are all overseen by the president's office.

Other important executives of the university are directly appointed by the Board of Trustees, including a provost who acts as the university's main academic officer, various vice presidents who oversee specialized university functions, and regional campus chancellors.

Purdue University provides undergraduate and graduate programs in over 211 major fields of study and is noted for its excellent engineering programs.

Campus life

Purdue University welcomed 8,561 students from 126 different countries in 2012. Indiana natives accounted for 19,688 of the 39,256 students enrolled in 2012-13. The racial diversity of the undergraduate student body in the United States was 5.7 percent Asian, 4.4 percent Hispanic or Latino, and 4.0 percent black or African American in 2013. 42.6 percent of undergraduate students were female.

On the West Lafayette campus, around a third of single undergraduate students live in university-owned housing. The other students are housed in fraternities, sororities, cooperatives, or off-campus accommodation. For undergraduates, graduate students, and student families that prefer to live on campus, there are 11,844 spaces available. The 40 fraternities and 20 sororities on campus are home to 16% of the undergraduate student body. Purdue University has 12 cooperative houses (five men's and seven women's).

Purdue University has one of the largest Greek communities in the country, with over 6,000 students involved in one of the roughly 40 men's fraternities or 30 women's sororities.


The Purdue Sustainability Council, which is made up of university executives and professors, meets once a month to examine environmental challenges and Purdue's sustainability programs. The extension of the Mechanical Engineering Building, which was completed in Fall 2011, was the university's first LEED Certified building. The institution is also working on establishing an arboretum on campus. In addition, a system has been installed to display live data from the campus utility plant's current energy production.


Each fall, the school hosts a "Green Week" to engage the Purdue community in discussions about environmental sustainability. In 2017, the university spent $622.814 million on research across its whole system, with monies coming from state and federal governments, businesses, foundations, and individuals. Purdue University ranks among the top research universities because of its academics and more than 400 research laboratories.

Purdue University created the Discovery Park to foster multidisciplinary collaboration and innovation. Research programs in all eleven Discovery Park centers, spanning from entrepreneurship to energy and sophisticated manufacturing, have a significant economic impact and solve global concerns. Purdue's nanotechnology research program, which is centered on the new Birck Nanotechnology Center in Discovery Park, is one of the best in the country.


By Fall 2007, the Purdue Statewide System had grown from a faculty of six in 1874 to 2,563 tenured and tenure-track faculty. Systemwide, there are 18,872 faculty and staff employees.

60 Academic Deans, Associate Deans, and Assistant Deans, 62 Academic Department Heads, 752 Professors, 544 Associate Professors, and 446 Assistant Professors make up Purdue's tenured faculty. Purdue University's West Lafayette campus has 892 non-tenure-track academics, Lecturers, and Postdoctoral Researchers.

While at Purdue, two faculty members were awarded Nobel Prizes (chemists Herbert C. Brown and Ei-ichi Negishi). There have been 13 Nobel Prizes awarded to him in five fields.


Purdue graduates have made significant contributions in a variety of fields, including science, engineering, and aviation. The university's alumni collectively own approximately 15,000 patents in the United States.

Gus Grissom, America's second man in space and the first to fly in NASA's Gemini program, Neil Armstrong, the first to walk on the moon, and Eugene Cernan, the final astronaut to do so, are all Purdue graduates. At least one Purdue graduate has served as a crew member on more than a third of all NASA's crewed space flights.

Purdue has also produced Nobel Prize-winning physicists Edward Mills Purcell and Ben Roy Mottelson, as well as Nobel Prize-winning chemist Akira Suzuki, in the field of science.

Stephen Bechtel Jr., the owner of Bechtel Corporation, Jeffrey Lacker, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank, and Orville Redenbacher, the inventor of popcorn, are all Purdue graduates in business and economics.

Booth Tarkington and John T. McCutcheon, both Pulitzer Prize winners, as well as Ginger Thompson, a former New York Times reporter, are Purdue alumni in government and culture.

Purdue University has produced basketball legends Stretch Murphy, Piggy Lambert, and Rick Mount, as well as basketball coach John Wooden.


Purdue is one of the few college athletic programs not financed by the institution or funded by student fees. Football, basketball, cross country, tennis, wrestling, golf, volleyball, ice hockey (ACHA), and other NCAA Division I/I-A teams call it home. Purdue was one of the founding members of the Big Ten Conference and was instrumental in its formation. The Indiana Hoosiers (Indiana-Purdue rivalry), the Illinois Fighting Illini, and the Atlantic Coast Conference's Notre Dame Fighting Irish are traditional rivals.


Purdue's basketball team is a member of the Big Ten Conference and participates in NCAA Division I. Matt Painter took over as head coach of West Lafayette in 2005. Painter succeeded Gene Keady, the school's all-time winningest coach, as head coach, becoming the second former Boilermaker basketball player. The Boilermakers have advanced to two NCAA Tournament Final Fours and won a non-NCAA recognized National Championship in 1932, which the Helms Athletic Foundation granted several years later. Purdue's basketball team won the Big Ten Conference Championship for the 24th time in 2019. Indiana University is second in the conference with 22 points.


Purdue University's football team competes in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision as the Boilermakers (FBS). The Boilermakers have won 12 conference championships, including four in the Indiana Intercollegiate Athletic Association and eight in the Big Ten Conference. The program is also renowned for being one of just two universities in the country to produce three Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks (the other being the University of Alabama).

Students and some alumni dress up in costumes, ranging from typical Halloween clothing to inventive hand-made costumes, as they bar-hop before Boilermaker home football games during "Breakfast Club," which is best described as a combination between a pep rally and a Halloween party. The Breakfast Club plays an important role during the football season and is an unofficial Purdue institution. On game days, many Boilermaker supporters get up at 5:00 a.m. on Saturdays and line up at the taverns on Chauncey Hill and the levee by 6:00 a.m. The Breakfast Club also holds its yearly race on the day of the Purdue Grand Prix in April.


During the spring and autumn semesters, the Purdue Exponent, an independent student newspaper, has the greatest circulation of any Indiana college newspaper, with a daily circulation of 17,500 copies.

WBAA is Indiana's oldest and longest-running radio station, licensed on April 4, 1922. Purdue University owns and operates WBAA, which is a professional radio station. WBAA News, WBAA Classical, and WBAA Jazz are the station's three non-commercial stations. AM920, 101.3 FM, and 105.9 FM are the stations' frequencies. WBAA also broadcasts on digital channels such as, the WBAA app, and HD Radio. The studios are located in Purdue's Edward C. Elliott Hall of Music, while the transmitters are located in Lafayette, Indiana.

On-campus, there are a couple of radio stations. WCCR from Cary Quadrangle (not to be confused with the present WCCR FM or WCCR-LP stations in other states), WILY from Wiley Hall, and WHHR from Harrison Hall are the only radio stations broadcasting via the internet.

Purdue University's Amateur Radio Club uses the callsign W9YB. W9YB is the oldest group on campus and owns one of the country's largest and most active university amateur radio stations. With the present callsign dating back to 1932 and the former callsign 9YB reaching back to 1920, W9YB is one of the oldest amateur radio clubs in the United States. W9YB actively participates in emergency management in Tippecanoe County and maintains a ready-to-assist status with its members.

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