Purdue University: Boiler Up!

In 1869, one of Indiana‘s largest and most successful colleges was born from humble beginnings in West Lafayette, Indiana. Abraham Lincoln passed the Morrill Land Grant Act in 1862; the act put public lands up for sale to found blue collar colleges and universities. West Lafayette and Tippecanoe County decided that a trade school would be an excellent pursuit for the region, and with a $150,000 donation from John Purdue, Purdue University was born. The university has the facilities to compete with anything in Indianapolis education.

Video tour of Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana



Purdue University‘s main campus is located in West Lafayette, Indiana, about an hour north of Indianapolis. The school also includes four regional campuses spread throughout Indiana: Indiana University – Purdue University (IUPUI) in Indianapolis, Indiana University – Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW), Purdue Calumet in Hammond, and Purdue North Central in Westville. Each of these campuses can stand toe to toe with the best Indianapolis schools. Purdue University is one of the largest 25 universities in Indiana.

A time lapse video of the bell tower at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana


The main West Lafayette campus has been growing at an exponential rate since the university’s founding in 1869. There have been many new additions to the campus in the past few years, including a brand new engineering hall (named after Neil Armstrong, one of Purdue’s many famous alumni), a new computer science building, and two new dining halls and residences. Purdue will continue to expand into the future; the university has plans for a new nanotechnology building and a state-of-the-art biomedical engineering building.

Per John Purdue’s request, all the buildings on the West Lafayette campus are made of red brick. This monochrome may sound unappealing and unoriginal at first, but it enhances the academic aesthetic of the university. The red brick comes in many different shades, and it interacts well with the greenery of Purdue’s landscaping. Purdue offers many different malls and grassy expanses. These are areas where students can study in the sunshine, play frisbee or campus golf, or just enjoy the bustle of students hustling to class.

Video of a flash mob worshiping the engineering fountain at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana


In addition, there are two ornate fountains that decorate Purdue University. The Loeb Fountain is in front of the Beering Liberal Arts Building, and the Engineering Fountain on the engineering mall is one of several visual trademarks of Purdue, along with the Bell Tower. Fountain runs are a tradition at Purdue; students race through the ice cold water routinely to bring good luck to their studies and career. The campus’ bell tower is also a source of urban legend; it is said that if you walk directly under the tower at any point in your academic career, you’re guaranteed to spend a fifth year at the school.

Video of a student performing a ritual fountain run at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana



Despite the architectural beauty of the West Lafayette campus, Purdue University isn’t just a pretty facade. They are also one of the top academic schools in the United States. SmartMoney magazine ranked the university ninth among all United States colleges in degree value. This means that graduates from Purdue are able to make full use of their degrees in the real world. Currently, the university has over 40,000 students enrolled in the West Lafayette campus, 30,000 of which are undergraduates.

Promotional video for the College of Consumer and Family Sciences at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana


The school is most well-known for its engineering program. Students from all over the world come to Purdue to study at the feet of engineering masters. Oftentimes Purdue engineering graduates move on to become some of the top members of their respective fields. In addition to the College of Engineering, Purdue has nine other colleges: Agriculture, Consumer and Family Sciences, Education, Liberal Arts, the world famous Krannert School of Management, Pharmacy/Nursing/Health Sciences, Science, Technology, and Veterinary Medicine.

Purdue also has a successful graduate school. U.S. News recently ranked Purdue’s graduate programs among the top in the nation, a high honor. The school has an illustrious MBA program through the Kelley School of Business. Graduates of this program are almost guaranteed to find an excellent position after graduation, and the Wall Street Journal has ranked the MBA program 14th amongst all similar programs in the United States. It’s a surprise that the Indianapolis media hasn’t caught on to all the commotion Purdue generates.

Promotional video for the Krannert School of Business, the MBA program at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana


Purdue’s MFA in Creative Writing is continually ranked among the top ten MFA’s in the country as well. Students in the MFA program run the Sycamore Review, a national literary magazine that publishes short fiction and poetry from both new and established writers. There are over 70 graduate programs at Purdue, so you’re sure to find something that will fit your needs and launch you into your chosen career.

Culture and Resources

Since it is a world-renowned university, students come to Purdue University from everywhere around the world. All these international students bring their culture with them, and West Lafayette and its sister city, Lafayette, are both melting pots in their own right, just like Indianapolis society. There are tons of art galleries (don’t worry, Indianapolis art galleries won’t be threatened any time soon), theaters that complement Indianapolis theaters, and music venues. Many bands that start at Purdue University eventually develop into Indianapolis bands. There are several big music events that happen in Lafayette and West Lafayette, including VillageFest, the annual Lay Flats Arts and Music Festival, and Mosey Down Main Street, which takes place every month in the summer. The towns have a close-knit community that rivals the Indianapolis art community. In addition, you’ll find almost every type of ethnic food in town, from traditional Thai and Vietnamese sit-down restaurants to Mediterranean and Indian buffets. If you need a break from Indianapolis restaurants, this is the place to go.

Video of Mike Reeb and the Consequences performing at VillageFest in West Lafayette, Indiana, the home of Purdue University


Purdue also has a vast library network to offer its students that would make the Marion County public libraries to shame. The Hicks Undergraduate Library is an underground repository of scientific journals, engineering texts, and literary criticism that features a helpful staff and intricate murals. The Humanities, Social Sciences, and Education Library services the College of Liberal Arts with a maze of stacks spanning three floors in the Stewart Center. In addition, there are several program specific-libraries, including the M.G. Mellon Library of Chemistry, the Earth and Atmospheric Sciences Library, and the Black Cultural Center, which is part art gallery, part library, and part venue for events.

If you need help with your writing, Purdue University also sponsors O.W.L, or the Online Writing Lab. OWL is the go-to source for academics at Purdue and worldwide for information on formatting, references, and proper grammar usage. It’s used by professors, students, high school teachers, and researchers alike. There is a physical version of the writing lab in Heavilon Hall where students can go to get some face to face help.


Purdue University may have a great reputation as an academic institution, but it’s also the home of some great sports teams. The Boilermakers are a continual favorite for Indiana sports fans and always make a run for the national title, no matter what the sport. Purdue University has a number of different athletics programs, including baseball, basketball, cross country, track and field, and wrestling. The university is part of the Big Ten conference, which includes their long time nemesis, Indiana University.

Video of Purdue University football highlights over the years


The school’s teams are universally known as the Boilermakers. They earned this nickname when they destroyed Wabash College’s football team in 1891. The Crawfordsville papers dubbed the burly, blue-collar players of Purdue the “Boiler Makers” as an insult, but since then the name has stuck as a symbol of the hardworking elbow grease mentality that Purdue champions. “Boiler Up!” has become a university catchphrase that’s used in chants, pep rallies, and even everyday conversation.

Both the Purdue men’s basketball team and the Purdue women’s basketball team are top-caliber groups. Especially in recent years, the women’s team has outshone the men’s. They both try their best to put Indianapolis college basketball teams to shame. In the 2008-2009 season, the men’s basketball team made it to the regional semi-finals of the NCAA Men’s Final Four Basketball Tournament before losing 72-60 to Connecticut. That same season, they also took home the Big Ten Tournament trophy after beating Ohio State. In the 2008-2009 season, the women’s basketball team made it to the Elite Eight before losing to Oklahoma. The team also tied for second in the Big Ten standings.

Video tribute to the 2008-2009 Purdue University men’s basketball team from West Lafayette, Indiana


Always Growing

All in all, Purdue University is on the fast track to success. They have been around for almost 150 years, and have proven that they have what it takes to be one of the top universities in the country, let alone in Indiana. For more information on Purdue University, please visit the university’s homepage.

Purdue University – West Lafayette
West Lafayette, IN 47907

Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis
420 University Blvd
Indianapolis, IN 46202

Indiana University – Purdue University Fort Wayne
2101 E Coliseum Blvd
Fort Wayne, IN 46805

Purdue University North Central
1401 S US 421
Westville, IN 46391

Purdue University Calumet
2200 169th St
Hammond, IN 46323

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