After more than three decades in this College and at Purdue, there are still moments when I am left speechless. In the span of three days in September, we announced $4 million in gifts to the College of Liberal Arts, a heartening affirmation of the important work we are doing and will continue to do.
An extraordinary gift of $3 million to our Department of History, coupled with strategic investment from the President’s discretionary funds, will provide $6 million to establish two new endowed chairs and allow the Department to create a niche specialty in the history of science, technology, and medicine that is timely, relevant, and altogether appropriate at Purdue.
This followed upon the heels of a grant of $1 million from the (Bill) Daniels Fund in support of the Purdue Institute for Civic Communication, the evolution of Project Impact in the Brian Lamb School of Communication, and an important project that provides dynamic leadership opportunities for our students.
These gifts, and all gifts to the College, sustain and enhance our programs. They also align with the sentiments of President Mitch Daniels, who recognizes that a liberal arts education is essential to prepare Purdue graduates to be powerful communicators and critical thinkers in our increasingly complex world. As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the School of Humanities, Social Science, and Education, the College’s forerunner, we take pride in sharing how our alumni are doing just that by profiling 50 alumni who demonstrate excellence and leadership in a wide variety of fields.
I would be remiss if I did not also take this opportunity to thank all of the people associated with the College for their generosity of time, treasure, and spirit over the past five years. My term as Dean concludes on June 30, and a national search is underway to identify the next person to lead our dynamic College. I have complete confidence that the new Dean will find, as I have, that witnessing the passion and commitment of our people is perhaps the single greatest benefit of serving in the role. For your inspiration, I am most thankful.
We hope you’ll enjoy reading about the ways Liberal Arts alumni, faculty, and students apply the broad and visionary thinking required for bold leadership in our society—featured in these pages and in the work we do each day.
With best regards,
Justin S. Morrill Dean