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City of Lafayette
—  City  —
Downtown Lafayette

Nickname(s): Star City
Coordinates: 40°25′2″N 86°52′43″W / 40.41722°N 86.87861°W / 40.41722; -86.87861Coordinates: 40°25′2″N 86°52′43″W / 40.41722°N 86.87861°W / 40.41722; -86.87861
Country United States
State Indiana
County Tippecanoe
Townships Fairfield, Wea
Platted 1825
Incorporated 1853
Founder William Digby
Named for General Lafayette
 - Mayor Tony Roswarski (D)
 - City 20.1 sq mi (52.0 km2)
 - Land 20.1 sq mi (52.0 km2)
 - Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
 - Metro 904.6 sq mi (2,342.9 km2)
Elevation [1] 692 ft (211 m)
Population (2008)
 - City 64,049
 Density 2,679/sq mi (1,083.6/km2)
 Metro 190,386
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 47901, 47904, 47905, 47909
Area code(s) 765
Twin Cities
 - Ōta City Japan
FIPS code 18-40788[2]
GNIS feature ID 0437501[3]

Lafayette (pronounced /ˌlɑːfijˈɛt/) is a city in Tippecanoe County, Indiana, U.S., 63 miles (101 km) northwest of Indianapolis. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 56,397. The city is the county seat of Tippecanoe County[4]. West Lafayette, on the other side of the Wabash River, is home to Purdue University, which has a large impact on both communities. Together, Lafayette and West Lafayette form the core of the Lafayette, IN Metropolitan Statistical Area, which, as of the 2000 census, had a total population of 183,340, the 215th largest metropolitan area in the United States.



General Lafayette, 1792
This panoramic map illustrates a bird's-eye view of Lafayette, Indiana in 1868.
The Wabash River at Lafayette, Indiana, flowing from left to right (north to south). The Amtrak station at Riehle Plaza can be seen in the background.

The area around what is now Tippecanoe County was inhabited by a tribe of Miami Indians known as the Ouiatenon or Weas. The French government established Fort Ouiatenon in 1717 across the Wabash River and three miles (5 km) south of the location of present-day Lafayette. The fort became the center of trade for fur trappers, merchants and Indians. An annual reenactment and festival known as The Feast of the Hunters' Moon takes place there each fall. [5]

Lafayette was platted by the river trader William Digby, in May 1825. The town was made county seat for the newly formed Tippecanoe County soon after in 1826. Like many small frontier towns, Lafayette was officially named for General Lafayette (September 6, 1757—May 20, 1834), a French military hero who fought with and significantly aided the American Army during the American Revolutionary War. Lafayette famously toured the United States during 1824 and 1825)

In its earliest days Lafayette was a shipping center on the Wabash River. In 1838, Henry Leavitt Ellsworth, the first United States Patent Commissioner, published a booklet called Valley of the Upper Wabash, Indiana, with Hints on Its Agricultural Advantages to promote settlement of the region. By 1845 Ellsworth had purchased 93,000 acres of farmland in Lafayette and the region and had moved from Connecticut to oversee land sales.[6] By 1847 Ellsworth was distributing broadsides looking for farmers to purchase his farmland.[7] He became president of the Tippecanoe County Agricultural Society in April 1851, despite some local resentment over what was called "the Yale Crowd," and he was defeated the same year in a run for the Indiana House of Representatives.[8] Lafayette's Ellsworth Street and Ellsworth Historic District are named for the early real estate developer.[9]

The Wabash and Erie Canal in the 1840s further cemented Lafayette's regional prominence, which was also escalated by the arrival of the railroads in the 1850s. The Monon Railroad connected Lafayette with other sections of Indiana.

Lafayette was the site of the first official air mail delivery in the United States, which took place on August 17, 1859, when John Wise piloted a balloon starting on the Lafayette courthouse grounds. Wise hoped to reach New York; however, weather conditions forced the balloon down near Crawfordsville, Indiana, and the mail reached its final destination by train. In 1959, the U.S. Postal Service issued a 7¢ airmail stamp commemorating the centennial of the event.[10]

Modern history owes a fair debt to Robert Kriebel, a reporter since retired from the Journal & Courier newspaper. By way of his books and columns the curious are provided a convenient, accessible, and even colorful way to grasp the events around and preceding him. Old Lafayette in two volumes is highly recommended. For further reading, the curious might look into some other notable historians of Lafayette appearing below. These were compiled by Kriebel for his "short list" as provided in the Lafayette Bank & Trust's The Best of Lafayette (2000): Sandford C. Cox, Richard P. DeHart, Sallie Sample, Sarah M. Crockett, Thomas B. Helm, Jesse Henderson Levering, Paul K. Mavity, Logan Esarey, and Herbery H. Heimlich.


Lafayette is located at 40°24′38″N 86°52′29″W / 40.410585°N 86.874681°W / 40.410585; -86.874681 (40.410585, -86.874681)[11] and lies in Fairfield and Wea Townships. Elevation at the court house is 550 feet (168 m), but city elevations range from a little over 500 feet (150 m) at the Wabash River to approximately 700 feet (210 m) in the areas of Murdock Park and Columbian Park.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 20.1 square miles (52.0 km2), all of it land.


Location of the Lafayette-Frankfort CSA and its components:      Lafayette Metropolitan Statistical Area      Frankfort Micropolitan Statistical Area
Broadside advertising sale of 200-acre farms, Lafayette, Indiana, 1847

Lafayette is the larger principal city of the Lafayette-Frankfort CSA, a Combined Statistical Area that includes the Lafayette metropolitan area (Benton, Carroll, and Tippecanoe counties) and the Frankfort micropolitan area (Clinton County),[12][13][14] which had a combined population of 212,408 at the 2000 census.[2]

As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 56,397 people, 24,060 households, and 13,666 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,806.5 people per square mile (1,083.9/km2). There were 25,602 housing units at an average density of 1,274.1/sq mi (492.0/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 88.91% White, 3.22% African American, 0.37% Native American, 1.22% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 4.61% from other races, and 1.62% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 9.11% of the population.

There were 24,060 households out of which 27.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.5% were married couples living together, 10.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 43.2% were non-families. 33.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.31 and the average family size was 2.98.

In the city the population was spread out with 23.2% under the age of 18, 14.2% from 18 to 24, 31.3% from 25 to 44, 19.3% from 45 to 64, and 12.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 97.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.3 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $35,859, and the median income for a family was $45,480. Males had a median income of $32,892 versus $23,049 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,217. About 8.0% of families and 12.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.8% of those under age 18 and 4.6% of those age 65 or over.


The government consists of a mayor and a city council. The mayor is elected in citywide vote. The city council consists of nine members. Six are elected from individual districts. Three are elected at-large.





K-12 public education in the Lafayette area is provided by the Lafayette School Corporation. New Community School is a tuition-free elementary charter school (sponsored by Ball State University) located in downtown Lafayette.



News and Media


  • Journal & Courier. The newspaper serves the Greater Lafayette area. The newsroom and offices are located on the East side of Lafayette.
  • Purdue Exponent. Purdue University's daily independent student newspaper serving Purdue, West Lafayette, and Lafayette. Newsroom and offices located just off campus on Northwestern Avenue in West Lafayette.
  • The Lafayette Leader


Commercial Radio Stations

Non-commercial Radio Stations


US Route 52 Lafayette



Amtrak, the national passenger rail system, provides passenger rail service to Lafayette through the Cardinal to Chicago, Washington D.C., and New York City. Norfolk Southern, CSX, Kankakee, Beaverville and Southern Railroad, and Toledo, Peoria and Western Railway (RailAmerica) provide freight rail service. Many of the rails lines that originally passed through the downtown were redirected in the mid-1990s to a rail corridor near the Wabash River.[15][16]


Bus Service


Much of the economy of the city of Lafayette and the surrounding area is centered around the academic and industrial activities of Purdue University. The university and its associated businesses employ the largest portion of the Lafayette workforce. However, private industry and commerce independent of the university also exist in the community. Some notable examples include:

Notable residents and natives

Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1850 6,129
1860 9,387 53.2%
1870 13,506 43.9%
1880 14,860 10.0%
1890 16,243 9.3%
1900 18,116 11.5%
1910 20,081 10.8%
1920 22,486 12.0%
1930 26,240 16.7%
1940 28,798 9.7%
1950 35,558 23.5%
1960 42,330 19.0%
1970 44,955 6.2%
1980 43,011 −4.3%
1990 43,764 1.8%
2000 56,397 28.9%
Source: US Census Bureau

For notable residents associated with Purdue University see List of Purdue University people



  • Bob Friend RHP for Pittsburgh Pirates
  • Ray Ewry - Ten-time Olympic champion
  • Bernard "Bernie" Flowers - Purdue All American and NFL Baltimore Colts 1950s, born in the Cleveland area, made Lafayette home
  • Dustin Keller - New York Jets NFL Tight end and Lafayette Jefferson High School graduate
  • Chuckie Nwokorie - NFL defensive player and Lafayette Jefferson High School graduate
  • George Souders - Won the Indianapolis 500 during his rookie season in 1927
  • William Fritz Afflis - Wrestled as Dick the Bruiser from 1950s to 1980s and Lafayette Jefferson High School graduate
  • Eric Bruntlett - Philadelphia Phillies infielder
  • Clayton Richard - San Diego Padres pitcher
  • Erik Sabel - Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher
  • Todd Dunwoody - MLB player for The Florida Marlins, The Chicago Cubs, The Kansas City Royals, and The Cleveland Indians. He is currently a batting coach for The Arizona Diamondbacks.
  • Dennis Morris, Class Of 2009 Minor League Football Hall of Fame Inductee and McCutcheon High School graduate

Business, law, politics

Academic, science, technology

Floyd Loop, MD - Former President and CEO of the Cleveland Clinic

Local civic organizations

Points of interest

Notable buildings

Community Events

See also



  1. ^ "USGS detail on Lafayette". Retrieved 2007-09-21. 
  2. ^ a b c "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  4. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  5. ^ Tippecanoe County Historical Association. "Feast of the Hunters' Moon". Retrieved 2009-06-01. 
  6. ^ A Day in the Life of Tippecanoe County, Tippecanoe County Historical Association
  7. ^ Guide to the Henry Leavitt Ellsworth Papers, Yale University Library
  8. ^ A Day in the Life of Tippecanoe County, Tippecanoe County Historical Association
  9. ^ During the period of Ellsworth's residence in Lafayette, two of his children came to national attention. His son Henry William Ellsworth was confirmed as United States chargé d'affaires at Stockholm, Sweden, in January 1846, and Ellsworth's daughter Annie suggested the words of the first telegraph message sent by her father's friend Samuel F. B. Morse in May 1844.
  10. ^ First Air Mail Flight
  11. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2000 and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2005-05-03. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  12. ^ METROPOLITAN STATISTICAL AREAS AND COMPONENTS, Office of Management and Budget, 2007-05-11. Accessed 2008-08-01.
  13. ^ MICROPOLITAN STATISTICAL AREAS AND COMPONENTS, Office of Management and Budget, 2007-05-11. Accessed 2008-08-01.
  14. ^ COMBINED STATISTICAL AREAS AND COMPONENT CORE BASED STATISTICAL AREAS, Office of Management and Budget, 2007-05-11. Accessed 2008-08-01.
  15. ^ Amtrak in Lafaytte, Indiana 1994 gregarnst
  16. ^ Amtrak in Lafaytte, Indiana May 1995 gregarnst

External links

Purdue University
File:Purdue University
Established May 6, 1869
Type Public
Endowment $1.457 billion (systemwide)[1]
President France A. Córdova
Provost Timothy D. Sands
Academic staff 6,614
Students 39,697 (Fall 2009)[2]
Undergraduates 31,145 (Fall 2009)[2]
Postgraduates 8,552 (Fall 2009)[2]
Location West Lafayette, Indiana, U.S.
Campus Large town: 2,474 acres (9.336 km²)
plus 15,108 acres (60.084 km²) for agricultural and industrial research[3]
Athletics 18 Division I / IA NCAA teams
Colors Old Gold and Black         [4]
Nickname Boilermakers
Mascot Boilermaker Special

Purdue University System Association of American Universities

Committee on Institutional Cooperation

Purdue University, located in West Lafayette, Indiana, U.S., is the flagship university of the six-campus Purdue University System.[5] Purdue was founded on May 6, 1869, as a land-grant university when the Indiana General Assembly, taking advantage of the Morrill Act, accepted a donation of land and money from Lafayette businessman John Purdue to establish a college of science, technology, and agriculture in his name.[6] The first classes were held on September 16, 1874, with three buildings, six instructors, and 39 students.[6] Today, Purdue enrolls the second largest student body of any university in Indiana as well as the second largest international student population of any public university in the United States.[7] This is a result of its aggressive recruiting policies abroad, particularly in Latin America and Asia.

Purdue offers both undergraduate and graduate programs in over 210 major areas of study. The university has been highly influential in America's history of aviation, and Purdue's aviation technology and aeronautical engineering programs remain among the highest rated and most competitive in the world. Purdue established the first college credit offered in flight training, the first four-year bachelor's degree in aviation, and the first university airport (Purdue University Airport). In the mid-20th century, Purdue's aviation program expanded to encompass advanced spaceflight technology giving rise to Purdue's nickname, Cradle of Astronauts.[8] Twenty-two Purdue graduates have gone on to become astronauts, including Gus Grissom (one of the original Mercury Seven astronauts), Neil Armstrong (the first person to walk on the moon), and Eugene Cernan (the last person to walk on the moon).[9]



Founding and early years

In 1865, the Indiana General Assembly took advantage of the Morrill Act, and began plans to establish an institution with a strong focus on engineering. John Purdue, a Lafayette business leader and philanthropist (buried at Purdue), sought to help establish a "land grant" college in Indiana. The state of Indiana received a gift of $150,000 from John Purdue, along with $50,000 from Tippecanoe County, and 150 acres (0.6 km²) of land from Lafayette residents in support of the project. On May 6, 1869, it was decided that the college would be founded near the city of Lafayette and legislators established the institution as Purdue University, in the name of the institution’s principal benefactor.[6]

Classes first began at Purdue on September 16, 1874 with three buildings, six instructors, and 39 students. Purdue issued its first degree, a Bachelor of Science in chemistry, in 1875. Only one of the original buildings remains.

The 20th century - Aviation and Aeronautics

Purdue University is well known for its diverse majors in aerospace. The Purdue University Airport was the first university owned airport in the United States. Purdue was the first university in the world to award a four-year bachelor's degree in aviation.[10] The school is also one of the only institutions in the country that offers AAAE certification for the management of airports.[11] Purdue's Aviation Technology Department is also actively involved and partners regularly with National Business Aviation Association and the International Society of Transport Aircraft Trading on a multitude of research projects.

In 2010, Purdue University received a $1.35 million grant from the United States Air Force to develop alternative fuels and test aircraft engines at a new facility. Purdue also purchased fourteen Cirrus SR-20 training aircraft, one Embraer Phenom 100 very light jet, and a Bombardier CRJ 700 simulator for their exclusive flight training program which only accept 60 people per year.

J. Clifford Turpin, from the class of 1908, was the first Purdue graduate to become an aviator, and received flight instruction from Orville Wright.[12] In 1919 George W. Haskins became the first alumnus to land an aircraft on campus.

with her Lockheed Model 10 Electra.]]

In 1930 Purdue became the first university in the country to offer college credit for flight training, and later became the first university to open its own airport, the Purdue University Airport. Famed aviator Amelia Earhart came to Purdue in 1935 and served as a "Counselor on Careers for Women," a staff position she held until her disappearance in 1937.[13] Purdue played a meaningful role in Earhart's ill-fated "Flying Laboratory" project, providing funds for the Lockheed Model 10 Electra aircraft she intended to fly around the world. Purdue's libraries maintain an extensive Earhart collection, which is still studied today by those seeking to solve the mystery of her disappearance.[14] Purdue later named a residence hall in her honor, which is lined with Earhart pictures and articles.

At one point, Purdue University owned and operated a charter airline operation under FAR part 121 simply called "Purdue Airlines". The company had a fleet of DC-9s, and was highly successful. In fact, Hugh Hefner's famous Playboy DC-9 aircraft was leased from Purdue, and its permanent storage was at Purdue University.[15]

Over the past ten years, Purdue’s School of Aeronautics and Astronautics has awarded more aerospace engineering degrees than any other institution in the country, issuing 6% of all undergraduate degrees and 7% of all Ph.D. degrees. These alumni have led significant advances in research and development of aerospace technology, headed major corporations and government agencies, and have established an amazing record for exploration of space.[10]


Purdue's campus is situated in the small city of West Lafayette, near the western bank of the Wabash River. State Street, which is concurrent with State Road 26, divides the northern and southern portions of campus. Academic buildings are mostly concentrated on the eastern and southern parts of campus, with residence halls to the west, and athletic facilities to the north. The Greater Lafayette Public Transportation Corporation (CityBus) operates eight campus loop bus routes on which students, faculty, and staff can ride free of charge.

Purdue Mall

The Purdue Mall is the central quad of Purdue University. It is also known as the Engineering Mall, due to its proximity to several engineering buildings. The most prominent feature of the Purdue Mall is the 38-foot-tall concrete Engineering Fountain, and also features the Frederick L. Hovde Hall of Administration, which houses the office of the university president, France A. Córdova. The Purdue Bell Tower is located between the Purdue and Memorial Malls. The Bell Tower is considered an icon of the university and can be found on many Purdue logos and those of the cities of Lafayette and West Lafayette.

Southwest of the Purdue Mall is the Edward C. Elliott Hall of Music, one of the largest proscenium theaters in the world.[16] Purdue's Student Concert Committee often invites famous entertainers to perform there for an audience of students, faculty, and the general public. Also near the Purdue Mall is Felix Haas Hall, which was constructed in 1909 as Memorial Gymnasium in memory of the 17 Purdue University football players, coaches, alumni, and fans who perished in the Purdue Wreck railroad accident on October 31, 1903. The structure was renovated in 1985 to house the Computer Science department. In 2006, it was renamed in honor of Felix Haas and began to also house the Statistics department.

Memorial Mall

File:2816 px - University Hall Purdue University Fall
University Hall from the Memorial Mall

The Purdue Memorial Mall is located south of the Purdue Mall and is generally considered the older part of campus. A popular meeting place for students, the Memorial Mall is surrounded by the Stewart Student Center, the Class of 1950 Lecture Hall, and University Hall. The Memorial Mall also features the Hello Walk. East of the Memorial Mall is the Purdue Memorial Union, Purdue's student union building, and the adjacent Union Club Hotel.

University Hall is the only building remaining from the original six-building campus. Construction began in 1871, when the building was known as "The Main Building". The building was dedicated in 1877 and the project cost $35,000 to complete. University Hall originally housed the office of the president, a chapel, and classrooms, but was remodeled in 1961 to house only the department of history. At the request of John Purdue, he was buried in the Memorial Mall, directly across from the main entrance of University Hall.

South campus

The area south of State Street is home to Purdue's agricultural and veterinary buildings. This area also includes the Horticulture Gardens, Discovery Park, and the Purdue Airport.

West campus

The western portion of campus consists of student housing, dining, and recreation facilities. Students can play club and intramural sports at the Recreational Sports Center, the Boilermaker Aquatic Center, and the intramural playing fields in this area. Purdue's Recreational Sports Center, built in 1957, is the first building in the nation created solely to serve university student recreational needs. From January 2011 until August 2012, the building will undergo a LEED-certified expansion and renovation project to become the Student Wellness and Fitness Center.[17]

Stadium area

Much of the northern part of campus sits on land purchased for the university by David E. Ross and George Ade. David Ross is one of two people buried on Purdue's campus (the other being John Purdue). Many of Purdue's athletic facilities are located there, including Ross–Ade Stadium (American football), Mackey Arena (basketball), and Lambert Fieldhouse (indoor track & field). This area also includes the Slayter Center of Performing Arts and Cary Quadrangle, one of the largest all-male housing units in the country.[18]


Purdue offers more than 200 options for major areas of study at the West Lafayette campus alone, and a variety of options for minors.[19] Purdue is organized into eight colleges and schools contained within larger colleges; the two exceptions are the Krannert School of Management and the School of Veterinary Medicine.[20] These two academic units retained their "school" status during a university-wide renaming policy in 2004 and 2005 in deference to national professional school naming conventions.[21] On July 1, 2010 the College of Health and Human Sciences was formed. The new college was created by combining existing academic units. These units include the School of Nursing, the School of Health Sciences, the College of Consumer and Family Sciences, and non-humanities majors from the College of Liberal Arts; namely psychology and hearing and speech pathology.[22]

Colleges of Purdue University
College of Agriculture
College of Education
College of Engineering
College of Health and Human Sciences
College of Liberal Arts
College of Pharmacy
College of Science
College of Technology
Engineering Schools of Purdue University
School of Aeronautics and Astronautics Agricultural and Biological Engineering Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering School of Chemical Engineering School of Civil Engineering School of Electrical and Computer Engineering
School of Engineering Education School of Industrial Engineering School of Materials Engineering School of Mechanical Engineering School of Nuclear Engineering Division of Construction Engineering and Management Division of Environmental and Ecological Engineering
Other Schools of Purdue University
Krannert School of Management* School of Health Sciences School of Nursing School of Veterinary Medicine*

An * indicates a school existing independently of a larger college.


The original faculty of six in 1874 has grown to 2,563 tenure and tenure-track faculty in the Purdue Statewide System by Fall 2007 totals. The number of faculty and staff members system-wide is 18,872.[23] The current faculty includes scholars such as Shreeram Shankar Abhyankar - known for his contributions to singularity theory, Arden L. Bement Jr. - Director of the National Science Foundation, R. Graham Cooks, Joseph Francisco, Douglas Comer, Louis de Branges de Bourcia who proved the Bieberbach conjecture, Ei-ichi Negishi, Victor Raskin, Michael Rossmann who mapped human common cold virus, Leah Jamieson, and H. Jay Melosh.[24]

Purdue's tenured faculty comprises sixty Academic Deans, Associate Deans, and Assistant Deans; 63 Academic Department Heads; 753 Professors; 547 Associate Professors and 447 Assistant Professors. Purdue employs 892 non-tenure-track faculty, Lecturers, and Postdoctorals at its West Lafayette campus. Purdue employs another 691 tenured and 1,021 Non-Tenure Track Faculty, Lecturers, and Postdoctorals at its Regional Campuses and Statewide Technology.[23]


File:Purdue Undergraduate
Hicks Undergraduate library, facilities are underground.

The University expended $472.7 million in support of research system-wide in 2006–07, using funds received from the state and federal governments, industry, foundations, and individual donors. The faculty and more than 400 research laboratories put Purdue University among the leading research institutions.[25] Purdue University is considered by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education to have "very high research activity".[26] Purdue also was rated the nation's fourth best place to work in academia, according to rankings released in November 2007 by The Scientist magazine.[27] Purdue's researchers provide insight, knowledge, assistance, and solutions in many crucial areas. These include, but are not limited to Agriculture; Business and Economy; Education; Engineering; Environment; Healthcare; Individuals, Society, Culture; Manufacturing; Science; Technology; Veterinary Medicine.[28]

Purdue University generated a record $333.4 million in sponsored research funding during the 2007-08 fiscal year with participation from National Science Foundation, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the U.S. departments of Agriculture, Defense, Energy, and Health and Human Services.[29]

Purdue University established the Discovery Park to bring innovation through multidisciplinary action.[30] In all of the eleven centers of Discovery Park, ranging from entrepreneurship to energy and advanced manufacturing, research projects reflect a large economic impact and address global challenges.[31] Purdue University's nanotechnology research program, built around the new Birck Nanotechnology Center in Discovery Park, ranks among the best in the nation.[32]

The Purdue Research Park which opened in 1961[33] was developed by Purdue Research Foundation[34] which is a private, nonprofit foundation created to assist Purdue. The park is focused on companies operating in the arenas of life sciences, homeland security, engineering, advanced manufacturing and information technology.[35] It provides an interactive environment for experienced Purdue researchers and private business and high-tech industry.[33] It currently employs more than 3,000 people in 155 companies, including 90 technology-based firms.[29] The Purdue Research Park was ranked first by the Association of University Research Parks in 2004.[36]

University rankings (overall)

ARWU World[37] 65
ARWU National[38] 45
Times Higher Education[39] 87
USNWR National University[40] 56
WM National University[41] 12


The University President, appointed by the Board of Trustees, is the chief administrative officer of the university. The office of the president oversees admission and registration, student conduct and counseling, the administration and scheduling of classes and space, the administration of student athletics and organized extracurricular activities, the libraries, the appointment of the faculty and conditions of their employment, the appointment of all non-faculty employees and the conditions of employment, the general organization of the university, and the planning and administration of the university budget.

The Board of Trustees directly appoints other major officers of the university including a provost, who serves as the chief academic officer for the university, a number of vice presidents with oversight over specific university operations, and the satellite campus chancellors.


Purdue's Sustainability Council, composed of University administrators and professors, meets monthly to discuss environmental issues and sustainability initiatives at Purdue.[42] The University is currently constructing its first LEED Certified building in an addition to the Mechanical Engineering building, which is to be completed in Spring 2011.[43] The school is also in the process of developing an arboretum on campus.[44] In addition, a system has been set up to display live data detailing current energy production at the campus utility plant.[44] The school holds an annual "Green Week" each fall, an effort to engage the Purdue community with issues relating to environmental sustainability.[45]

Student life

Student body

The Purdue student body is composed primarily of students from Indiana. In 2006-07, 23,086 out of a total of 39,288 students enrolled were Indiana residents.[46] As of 2007, the racial diversity of the undergraduate student body was 86.9% white, 5.51% Asian, 3.53% African American, and 2.75% Hispanic.[47] Of these students, 41.2% are female.[48] Domestic minorities constitute a total of 15.4% in the Graduate student body population[47] of which 38.5% are female.[48] The largest minority (six percent of the full-time student body)[49] is international, representing 123 countries.[50] In graduate student population, non-residents occupy an overwhelming majority, about 78%.[51] Almost all undergraduates[52] and about 70% of the graduate student population attend full-time.[51] The school's selectivity for admissions is "more selective" by USNWR: approximately 70% of applicants are admitted.


Purdue University operates fifteen separate residence halls for its undergraduate and graduate students, including: Cary Quadrangle, Earhart Hall, First Street Towers, Harrison Hall, Hawkins Hall, Hillenbrand Hall, Hilltop Apartments, McCutcheon Hall, Meredith Hall, Owen Hall, Purdue Village, Shreve Hall, Tarkington Hall, Wiley Hall, and Windsor Halls.[53] The newest residence hall, First Street Towers, opened in July 2009 and is exclusively for upperclassmen.[54]

There are 12 cooperative houses at Purdue (5 men's houses and 7 women's houses). The men's houses include Circle Pines, Fairway, Marwood, Chauncey, and Gemini. The women's houses include Ann Tweedale, Glenwood, Twin Pines, Maclure, Stewart, Devonshire, and Shoemaker. All cooperative houses are governed under the Purdue Cooperative Council which is led by Purdue University students who live in these houses. The cooperative system claims that it allows for a much lower cost of living than other types of housing,[55] as the members take an active role in sharing chores and cooking all meals themselves, as opposed to hiring out cleaning and cooking staff.[56]

Purdue University hosts the nation's third largest Greek community, with approximately 5,000 students participating in one of the 46 men's fraternities or 29 women's sororities.[57] Several of Purdue's most distinguished graduates are members of fraternities and sororities.[56]


The Purdue Exponent, an independent student newspaper, has the largest circulation of any Indiana college newspaper, with a daily circulation of 17,500 copies during the spring and fall semesters.[58]

The "Movie Tribute Show with Erik Mygrant" was created in a small television studio (now known as the Erik Mygrant Studio) on campus in 1999.[59]

WBAA is a radio station owned by Purdue University. The station operates on the AM frequency of 920 kHz and FM frequency of 101.3 MHz. Its studios are in the Edward C. Elliott Hall of Music on the Purdue campus, and the transmitters are located in Lafayette, Indiana. WBAA is the longest continuously-operating radio station in Indiana, having been licensed on April 4, 1922. WBAA airs NPR and local news/talk programming during the day. Overnight, the AM station airs jazz while the FM station airs classical music.

There are also a few student radio stations on campus. Currently, three operate from residence halls, broadcasting via internet only; WCCR from Cary Quadrangle (not to be confused with the current WCCR FM or WCCR-LP stations in other states), WILY from Wiley Hall, and WHHR from Harrison Hall. A fourth student station, the Purdue Student Radio club operates from the Purdue Memorial Union and broadcasts on low power AM in addition to internet streaming.[60][61][62][63]

W9YB is the callsign of the Amateur Radio Club at Purdue University. W9YB also holds the self declared title of having one of the largest and most active collegiate amateur radio stations in the country. W9YB actively participates in emergency management for the Tippecanoe County area and maintains ready status with its members in skills to assist.[64]


]] Purdue is home to 18 Division I/I-A NCAA teams including football, basketball, cross country, tennis, wrestling, golf, volleyball and others. Purdue is a founding member of the Big Ten Conference, and played a central role in its creation. Traditional rivals include Big Ten colleagues the Indiana Hoosiers, the Illinois Fighting Illini, and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish from the Big East Conference (football program independent, however).

Purdue is tied with Alabama in producing the most Super Bowl winning quarterbacks. Len Dawson (SB IV, MVP), Bob Griese (SB VII and VIII), and Drew Brees (SB XLIV, MVP).

The Boilermaker men's and women's basketball teams have won more Big Ten Championships than any other conference school, with 27 conference banners, including a league-leading 22 for the men’s team. Purdue men's basketball has an all-time winning record against all Big Ten schools.[65]

Insignia and traditions


Purdue Pete - one of the most recognized symbols of Purdue University

The moniker for the University's athletics teams has become a popular reference for all things Purdue. A reporter first used the name in 1891 to describe the year's winning football team and quickly gained approval from students.

Mascots, logos, and colors

In the more than 130 years since the founding of the university, several mascots have emerged in support of the Boilermaker athletic teams, including: The Boilermaker Special, Purdue Pete, and more recently, Rowdy.

The Boilermaker Special has been the official mascot of Purdue University since 1940. Designed to look like a train locomotive, the Special was originally designed to demonstrate Purdue's engineering programs and is maintained by the members of the Purdue Reamer Club.

As the unofficial mascot of Purdue Athletics, Purdue Pete is one of the most recognized symbols of Purdue University.

An 18 foot statue of "The Boilermaker" was erected in 2005 across from Ross Ade Stadium.

Purdue University adopted its school colors, Old Gold and Black, in the fall of 1887. Members of Purdue's first football team in 1887 felt that the squad should be distinguished by certain colors, and since Princeton was at the time the most successful gridiron unit, its colors were considered. Though actually orange and black, the Princeton colors were known by many as yellow and black. Purdue gridders opted for old gold over yellow, kept the black, and began flying the colors that endure today.[66]


The official seal of Purdue was officially inaugurated during the University's centennial in 1969. The seal, approved by the Board of Trustees, was designed by Prof. Al Gowan, formerly at Purdue. It replaced one that had been in use for 73 years, but was never officially accepted by the board.

In medieval heraldry, a griffin symbolized strength, and Abby P. Lytle used it in her 1895 design for a Purdue seal. When Professor Gowan redesigned the seal, he retained the griffin symbol to continue identification with the older, unofficial seal. As on the older seal, the words "Purdue University are set in the typeface Uncial. The three-part shield indicates three stated aims of the University: education, research, and service, replacing the words Science, Technology, and Agriculture on the earlier version.


The official fight song of Purdue University, "Hail Purdue!", was composed in 1912 by alumni Edward Wotawa (music) and James Morrison (lyrics) as the "Purdue War Song".[67] "Hail Purdue" was copyrighted in 1913 and dedicated to the Varsity Glee Club.

Grand Prix

This 50-mile, 160-lap go-kart race is "The Greatest Spectacle in College Racing" and wraps up Gala Week each year. All 33 participating karts are made from scratch by student teams. The event has been raising money for student scholarships since it began in 1958.[68] It was created as a counter-part to Indiana University's Little 500.

Old Oaken Bucket

Found on a farm in southern Indiana, the oaken bucket is one of the oldest football trophies in the nation. The winner of the annual Purdue vs. Indiana University American football game gets to add a bronze "P" or "I" chain link and keep the trophy until the next face-off. Ironically, the first competition in 1925 led to a 0-0 tie, resulting in the first link on the chain being an "IP." Purdue currently leads the trophy series at 55-26-3.


]] Purdue alumni include: Pulitzer Prize-winning author Booth Tarkington, the legendary and iconic NCAA champion basketball coach John Wooden, popcorn specialist Orville Redenbacher, founder and CEO of C-SPAN Brian Lamb, pioneer of robotics and remote control technology Thomas B. Sheridan, Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist John T. McCutcheon, actor George Peppard, Chinese nationalist Sun Liren, Chinese physicist Deng Jiaxian and Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Bob Griese. Most recently, Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints, was 2010 Super Bowl champion quarterback after playing for Purdue University.

All together, Purdue has produced 22 astronauts, including Gus Grissom, the first person to return to space, Neil Armstrong, the first to walk on the moon, and Eugene Cernan, the last astronaut to do so.[69] Over one third of all of NASA's manned space missions have had at least one Purdue graduate as a crew member.[70] These individuals have led significant advances in research and development of aerospace technology and established an amazing record for exploration of space.

The Dauch Alumni Center acts as a showcase for the university's alumni and alumnae. The 67,000-square-foot (6,200 m2) center houses the offices of the Purdue Alumni Association and University Development. It is a destination and gathering area for the Purdue Alumni Association’s 68,000 members and more than 325,000 living alumni/alumnae.[71]

See also

Indiana portal


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