The College of Liberal Arts is essential to a Purdue education that prepares graduates for meaningful careers and inspired leadership. That message was the focus of a College event hosted by alumnus Rusty Rueff (BA ’84, MS ’86), which kicked off the spring semester and shared the results of a year-long project aimed at better telling the story of the College and its impact on campus and beyond. That spirit is captured by the College’s new tagline: Think Broadly. Lead Boldly.
Alumni volunteers and Dean’s Advisory Council members Kevin Mayer (BA ’91) and Todd Putman (BA ’84), led a focus group of Liberal Arts faculty in a year-long project that examined the College’s current messaging and responded to constituent surveys, focus groups, and conversations with key stakeholders in the College.
“We knew that great things were happening in the College,” said Putman. “We just didn’t think we were telling the story in a way that captured what makes it different, better, special. Students and researchers in the liberal arts improve society, push the bounds of creativity, generate ideas that propel economic growth, and advance change in the world. We bring a passion and an innovative spirit to the table that is vital. That’s not news, but articulating that in a powerful way among our various constituencies is an important step forward for the College.”
“There’s a great opportunity at Purdue to take advantage of our unique position at the intersection of liberal arts and STEM [science, technology, engineering, and math],” explained Mayer. “The challenges in our world are complex, and we need engineers and humanists, scientists and artists to work side by side to solve problems that demand creative, collaborative, multi-faceted, innovative, and meaningful solutions. It’s a great way for Purdue to differentiate itself, and the College of Liberal Arts is central to that opportunity.”
“I am very grateful to Todd and Kevin for their leadership of this process,” said Irwin Weiser, Justin S. Morrill Dean of Liberal Arts. “Across the nation, the liberal arts are under fire right now. Helping us to state in a powerful way that the liberal arts matter—that the timeless skills anchored in oral and written communication, critical thinking, problem solving, and analysis our students develop are not only relevant, but essential—is key. A liberal arts education positions graduates for impact in their careers and their communities where they lead boldly as productive, engaged members of society. We take great pride in that.”
With more than 60 percent of the College’s credit hours taught to students with majors outside of liberal arts, the College is a core component of a Purdue education, which is renowned for graduates whose critical thinking and problem-solving skills set them apart as unique and sought-after leaders.