About Purdue University
Purdue University is a public university located in West Lafayette, Indiana, USA. It serves as the primary of six campuses affiliated with the Purdue University System, one of the largest university systems in the nation.
A land-grant university, Purdue was founded on May 6, 1869, 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. The first classes were held on September 16, 1874, with three buildings, six instructors, and 39 students. Today, Purdue enrolls the largest student body of any university in Indiana and the largest international student population of any public university in the United States.
In 2005, Purdue reorganized its academic units into its present configuration of eight colleges and fourteen schools, containing both undergraduate and graduate programs in over 200 major areas of study. Of these, the Purdue University College of Engineering, the Krannert School of Management, and Purdue's pharmacy school offer a number of programs that are consistently rated among the best in the United States. Purdue has long been influential in America's history of aviation, having 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 would expand to encompass advanced spaceflight technology, epitomized by its top-ranked School of Aeronautics and Astronautics and it's #1 ranked Purdue University College of Technology. Twenty-two American astronauts are graduates of Purdue, including the first person to walk on the moon, Neil Armstrong, and the last, Eugene Cernan, giving rise to Purdue's nickname, Cradle of Astronauts.
Purdue has devoted a significant portion of its endowment to research activities in recent years, particularly in emerging high technology fields related to bioscience and bioengineering. Its $350 million, interdisciplinary Discovery Park comprises 1,000 affiliated faculty, ten buildings, and research areas as diverse as entrepreneurship and nanotechnology, earning a top-ten distinction for the latter. The Purdue Research Park, recognized as the best university research park in 2004, houses over 140 businesses and startup companies endeavoring to commercialize the results of this research.