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For other members of this university system, see Purdue University system. Purdue University is a public research university in West Lafayette, Indiana, and the flagship campus of the Purdue University system. The main campus in West Lafayette offers more than 200 majors for undergraduates, over 69 masters and doctoral programs, and professional degrees in pharmacy and veterinary medicine. In addition, Purdue has 18 intercollegiate sports teams and more than 900 student organizations.
In 1865, the Indiana General Assembly voted to take advantage of the Morrill Land-Grant Colleges Act of 1862, and began plans to establish an institution with a focus on agriculture and engineering. Communities throughout the state offered their facilities and money to bid for the location of the new college. White, the university’s president from 1876 to 1883, followed a strict interpretation of the Morrill Act. President Benjamin Harrison was serving on the board of trustees. Elliott oversaw a campus building program between the world wars. Inventor, alumnus, and trustee David E.
Ross coordinated several fundraisers, donated lands to the purde owl, and was instrumental in establishing the Purdue Research Foundation. Every school and department at the university was involved in some type of military research or training during World War II. During a project on radar receivers, Purdue physicists discovered properties of germanium that led to the making of the first transistor. After the war, Hovde worked to expand the academic opportunities at the university. A decade-long construction program emphasized science and research.
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In the late 1950s and early 1960s the university established programs in veterinary medicine, industrial management, and nursing, as well as the first computer science department in the United States. The official seal of Purdue was officially inaugurated during the university’s centennial in 1969. Consisting of elements from emblems that had been used unofficially for 73 years, the current seal depicts a griffin, symbolizing strength, and a three-part shield, representing education, research, and service. In recent years, Purdue’s leaders have continued to support high-tech research and international programs. President Ronald Reagan visited the West Lafayette campus to give a speech about the influence of technological progress on job creation.
On April 27, 2017, Purdue University announced plans to acquire for-profit college Kaplan University and convert it to a public university in the state of Indiana, subject to multiple levels of approval. Purdue’s campus is situated in the small city of West Lafayette, near the western bank of the Wabash River, across which sits the larger city of Lafayette. The Purdue Mall is the central quad of Purdue University. Also known as the Purdue Spine, due to its proximity to several important academic buildings, it was created to connect the academic campus with Ross-Ade Stadium.
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