Purdue University College of Liberal Arts College of Liberal Arts logo

THiNK Magazine logo


Spring 2011 | By Marty Welch. Photo by $photocredit.value.


Marty Welch (BA ‘78, Sociology )

is president of the 2010-11 CLA Alumni Board and director of account development for American Express Company, leading a sales force across eight Midwestern states.

Are You A Champion?

If you are reading this issue of THiNK, it’s probably safe to assume you are affiliated with the College of Liberal Arts in some way, shape, or form. Maybe you are a graduate, a Purdue parent, a faculty member, a student, or a friend of the college.

The mission of the CLA Alumni Board is to engage CLA alumni, students, staff, faculty, and friends with the college and the University, while fostering their sense of pride for Purdue and liberal arts. 

We are champions for the College of Liberal Arts. A champion is an advocate or defender, someone who fights for others. Being a champion isn’t reserved for alumni board members alone. You, too, can be a champion for the college. 

The College of Liberal Arts has much to be proud of. Did you know, for example, that the College of Liberal Arts has an endowed deanship named in honor of Justin S. Morrill?  It is one of only four such college deanships at Purdue. Morrill was a driving force in the Land-Grant College Act of 1862, which created the foundation for universities such as Purdue. The legislation is now known as the Morrill Act in his honor.

The college also has a strong reputation in research. Eight CLA PhD programs received high rankings in the recently released National Research Council (NRC) evaluation of doctoral programs comparing programs within their disciplines and fields of study. Doctoral programs in American studies, communication, comparative literature, and linguistics were ranked in the top 20 (fifth percentile rankings) for research productivity.

In addition, CLA’s Patti and Rusty Rueff School of Visual and Performing Arts is home to a graduate program in interaction design, one of only five in the United States.
The Chronicle of Higher Education ranks the philosophy department’s Philosophy of Religion program No. 4 in the country in its Top Research Universities Faculty Scholar Productivity Index.

These are just a few of CLA’s many distinctions.

Liberal Arts is one of the largest colleges at Purdue, with more than 250 tenured or tenure-track faculty, more than 4,600 undergraduate students, and 860 graduate students.  Many of us came to Purdue knowing our future resided in CLA. Others found our way to Liberal Arts after taking one of its many class offerings. In many cases, we found our passion, our career, or our life’s work. 

I encourage you to invest in CLA.  Invest yourself, your time, your talents, and your expertise. Learn about the great work, programs, and research being done today in CLA. Get engaged, whether it is serving CLA in a leadership capacity, participating in its numerous programs, or being active in alumni clubs and events. 

Spread the word about the College of Liberal Arts and begin to “Distinguish Yourself” as one of its champions today!

Share via E-mail


Comments will be added to the story after review by a moderator. Name and e-mail address are optional, but if you would like an email response to your comment, please indicate this and provide your contact details.