Colombia Purdue Initiative — CPI

Profile

Rodolfo Gedeón holds a place of special significance in the history of Purdue-Colombia relations. In the fall of 1955 he came from Cartagena to pursue his Civil Engineering studies, at a time when the university offered only four different engineering programs. The journey itself was long, and included Jamaica and Cuba as stops along the way to Indianapolis. He arrived without a thorough understanding of English, and with no clue as to how rough the winter would be. It is impossible to overstate the courage he must have had to jump into the unknown with such desire to overcome himself, and such a passion to learn. This passion was put to the test again after he graduated, when he decided to continue on to a master degree, which he completed within a year.

Upon his return to Colombia he worked in various important engineering projects, both in Bogotá and Cartagena. He then got married and remains in his hometown to this day. In his own words, his children “had no choice” but to come to Purdue, where his daughter graduated from the Krannert School of Business and his son from Industrial Engineering. Several of his relatives have also studied here, and continue to do so. Fourteen members of his family have already attended the university, and he hopes to see his six grandchildren also attending Purdue. All of this turns Rodolfo Gedeón into our very own Colombia-Purdue patriarch. If you are on campus, make sure to wander around Wiley Hall. Perhaps you’ll be able to see his name on one of the dorm doors…

 

Rodolfo's visit to Purdue in 2010 for the celebration of his 50 years of graduated. In the picture he is with 5 of his 6 grandchildren (Guillermo, Gabriela, Rodrigo, Nicolle and Alejandro)

 

Rodolfo with 7 nephews, two sons who studied at Purdue and a Purdue professor of the College of Health and Human Sciences

 

Rodolfo's visit to Purdue in 2010 for the celebration of his 50 years of graduated. In the picture he is with 5 of his 6 grandchildren (Guillermo, Gabriela, Rodrigo, Nicolle and Alejandro)

 

Rodolfo with Purdue classmates who were visiting Cartagena in 2012 (Dave Boyd, Lee Jamieson, Ross Edwards, Gloria Edwards and Mike Kerr)

 

With his mom, Jafisa Gedeón, on commencement day, June 5th, 1960.