Skip to Main Content
Have library access? Log in through your library
No Cover Image

A University of Tradition: The Spirit of Purdue, Second Edition

  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    A University of Tradition
    Book Description:

    A University of Tradition is a fascinating compilation of history, customs, pictures, and facts about Purdue University from its founding in 1869 to the present day. Covering all aspects of Purdue, from the origin of the nickname of its students and alumni—Boilermakers—to a chronological list of all buildings ever constructed on the campus of West Lafayette, Indiana, this book presents the ultimate insider’s guide to one of the world’s great universities. It contains a wealth of facts about student, academic, sporting, and campus traditions, as well as biographical information on all the University presidents and other members of Purdue's family, including David Ross, Neil Armstrong, Eliza Fowler, Jack Mollenkopf, Helen Schleman, and Amelia Earhart. A University of Tradition spotlights many items that will spark the memories of any Purdue alumnus or fan. No matter if you were in the “All-American” Marching Band, lived in the Quad, participated in Grand Prix, wrote for the Purdue Exponent, or were on campus when the Boilermakers won the 1967 Rose Bowl, you will appreciate and enjoy this book. The second edition is fully updated for 2012 and includes information about new landmarks, new traditions, and the incoming twelfth president of the University. Key points: • The ultimate guide to Purdue traditions and history, written by insiders. • Highly illustrated, with many new illustrations. • The ideal gift for any Purdue student, alum, or anyone who cares about Indiana’s premier University. Quote: “This book, compiled by the students of the Purdue Reamer Club, is a magnificent collection of many things that make Purdue both a great academic institution and a beloved alma mater. It is a celebration of our past and present and prelude to our future.” Martin C. Jischke, tenth President of Purdue University

    eISBN: 978-1-61249-249-0
    Subjects: History, Education

Table of Contents

    (pp. 1-9)

    PURDUE UNIVERSITY, like other land-grant colleges, was from its beginnings a uniquely American institution, founded upon ideas of equality and practical education. This philosophy remains the cornerstone of Purdue’s mission. Another essential foundation for Purdue’s birth and growth was giving—donors who gave generously of their time, wealth, and land. A task as monumental as launching a university doesn’t happen overnight, and Purdue’s founders were faced with countless decisions before the first day of classes in 1874. These pioneers, and the generations of visionary men and women who succeeded them, have given rise to a wealth of traditions, making Purdue...

    (pp. 11-25)

    IT BEGAN AS A CHOICE: school of agriculture or school of engineering? When Purdue opened its doors in 1874, only two options were offered to its all-male student body. Today, there are hundreds of majors to choose from within Purdue’s curriculum. By adapting to the needs of the students, as well as to the changing times and social structures, Purdue’s expansive range has grown to include eleven schools and colleges, spanning the full scope of human endeavor....

    (pp. 27-47)

    THEY HAVE LAID CORNERSTONES, fostered ideas, and encouraged advancement. They have been educators, researchers, school superintendents, scholars, armed forces veterans, and public servants. Their educations have come from several countries and many disciplines. They have led us in times of progress, depression, tragedy, and triumph. They have built upon the dreams of those who aided in establishing this institution, all the while quietly leaving their own legacies. Their numbers are small, yet their accomplishments are huge. They are the presidents of Purdue University....

    (pp. 49-93)

    AMONG THE PARKS AND PATHWAYS of the West Lafayette campus lie the buildings that so many have entered seeking higher education. The plaque found on the oldest building at Purdue, University Hall, states their purpose well: “In this structure built with bricks and cemented with aspirations, thousands of students have savored the finest that men have thought and felt throughout the ages: The wisdom of philosophers, the comprehension of scientists, the beauty of artists, the vision of dreamers, the realism of statesmen, for here nearly all the humanities and sciences have been taught—the hopes of its founders materialized. The...

    (pp. 95-117)

    YOU’VE WALKED PAST THEM hundreds of times. You might not be familiar with their history, but you are definitely familiar with their images. They are our Purdue landmarks. Some are as simple as a plaque in a courtyard; others can be seen from a far distance. Each has a purpose and a place in Purdue’s history, whether it is the Stone Lions Fountain, Purdue Bell Tower, or Freedom Square. Built to honor individuals and events, erected in memory or as a testament to the strength and innovation of Purdue’s community, our landmarks are unique reminders of our past and continuing...

    (pp. 119-157)

    PURDUE ALUMNI have included some of the most significant and innovative people in their fields. Throughout Purdue’s history, alumni and staff have consistently been relied upon to originate and inspire new ideas and inventions. Purdue’s influence reaches well beyond the state of Indiana, stretching into the farthest regions of our world and literally beyond. Whether the person is faculty, staff, alumnus, or student, all have earned their place on Purdue’s historical roster. Purdue is proud to have fostered in them the inspiration that they continue to kindle in all Boilermakers....

    (pp. 159-197)

    KEEPING THE MIND SHARP has always depended on maintaining an active body, and from Purdue’s earliest years, athletics was a favorite activity of students. Athletic programs started to become institutionalized in the late nineteenth century, and fans materialized just as quickly. And whether it’s a winning season or a bad year, Purdue fans show up to cheer on the teams—the coaches who spur them to excellence, and the young men and women who, in the name of sportsmanship, lead us in school spirit....

    (pp. 199-205)

    PURDUE HAS A LONG TRADITION of honoring distinguished people who have contributed to the University. Whether student or alumnus, faculty or administrator, brain or jock, or just a loyal supporter of the University, recipients of these various awards have helped to bring national recognition to Purdue. Some of these awards are memorialized with plaques that remind us of our forebears’ standards of service; some of them are established in the name of an outstanding individual; some include modest cash awards. They all promote and pay tribute to excellence....

    (pp. 207-227)

    THE CRISP AUTUMN AIR , the roar of the crowd as the receiver scores another touchdown for Purdue. But what would a Purdue football game be like without the Purdue “All-American” Marching Band? It rouses spectators’ spirits and affords valuable experience for talented individuals. From modest beginnings in the Purdue Student Army Training Corps, the band has attracted innovative administrators and talented individuals, and has come to be one of the premier marching bands in the world. As the band leads spectators in a rousing rendition of “Hail Purdue,” fans admire the precision of their intricate movements and join in...

    (pp. 229-247)

    THERE ARE HUNDREDS OF THEM, some dating from Purdue’s earliest years, and there is a place for all in Purdue’s student organizations. Some are unique to Purdue, while others are chapters of national organizations. They all share a commitment to excellence, be it in academics, service to the University and community, or the development of a particular skill. These organizations bind students together, provide a home away from home, and afford opportunities for study breaks. Many years after graduation, former members of student organizations remain immersed in the life of Purdue, sometimes acting as advisors to the same organizations that...

    (pp. 249-266)

    WHEN IT COMES TO SCHOOL SPIRIT, one organization stands out among all others at Purdue: the Reamer Club. Many of the characteristics that exemplify student excellence are embodied in its members. Originally formed as a group of off-campus students, today’s Reamers lovingly hand down Purdue University’s traditions from one generation to another. United in school spirit, they engage in fund-raising activities for Purdue athletics and cheer on Purdue’s teams, whether they be at home or on the road....