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2018 College of Engineering Giving Report

'More eager, more agile, more visible'

Over the past year, we have set new records in research excellence, with three new national centers and the highest level of research funding ever. We have grown our undergraduate enrollment and become the largest engineering college among the nation’s top 10. We have also received $176 million in philanthropic support, the highest in our history. Thank you all.

As a public land-grant university, we are proud of our scale. We also aspire to attain the “Pinnacle of Excellence at Scale.”

We will provide diverse, innovative choices and support the highest academic standards for each student, even at scale. We will make online learning not only scalable but also effective.

We will become the best engineering college in the world at the interface of virtual-physical engineering, by leveraging long-standing strength in “what-we-touch” engineering and growing “what-we-code” engineering.

We will be the best engineering college in the country in engaging industry in all areas, including curriculum innovation, workforce development, research impact and entrepreneurship.

These efforts are gaining momentum. Enthusiastic support from our 93,000+ alumni and many partners is essential. On the 2018 Purdue Day of Giving, your generosity broke the record of single-day gifts to one college: 2,406 gifts were provided to enable the future of Purdue Engineering.

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“The pride and passion you have shared about Purdue is truly inspiring.” - Mung Chiang

The Pinnacle of Excellence at Scale

Satisfied with nothing less than the pinnacle, we always aim higher.

As the largest engineering college among the top 10 in the nation, we will conquer the challenges of scale and seize opportunities enabled by scale.

At Purdue Engineering, we will:

Move fast.

Encourage nimble innovation by faculty, staff and students. Treat permanent changes and experimental pilots differently. Provide “oxygen” to make mistakes.

Maximize productivity and collaboration.

Reduce barriers and bureaucracy that hinder faculty/staff excellence or “1+1=3” in “constellation of stars.”

Operationalize “Think Impact.”

Re-optimize financial and physical resources and update processes to maximize impact, which comes in different forms but is about the differences made to the discipline or society.

Grow from our strength.

Pursue research excellence and impact relentlessly. Take it from “strong” to “the best” in key areas by attracting and supporting top talent.

Everyone moves upward.

Foster an equitable and incentivizing environment, where everyone, from diverse backgrounds and ideas, is included and inspired to achieve each individual’s full potential.

Leave no good deed unknown.

Intensify communication, with pride and passion, to alumni, peers and partners, from the Heartland to the hemispheres.

Global Listening Tour

Dean Mung Chiang: On a Global Listening Tour

Purdue Engineering Dean Mung Chiang has a mission: Meet with as many engineering alumni as he can.

With more than 93,000 Engineering alumni around the globe, he has lost no time. Since becoming a Boilermaker in July 2017, Chiang has made stops at 17 alumni events.

Houston, Texas

Houston, Texas

1,677 Engineering Alums in Houston, Texas

Menlo Park, California

Menlo Park, California

8,036 Engineering Alums in California

Indianapolis, Indiana

Indianapolis, Indiana

8,405 Engineering Alums in Indianapolis, Indiana

Naples, Florida

Naples, Florida

314 Engineering Alums in Naples, Florida

Boston, Massachusetts

Boston, Massachusetts

1,097 Engineering Alums in Boston, Massachusetts

Chicago, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois

7,133 Engineering Alums in Chicago, Illinois

Dubai, UAE

Dubai, UAE

112 Engineering Alums in Dubai

Amman, Jordan

Amman, Jordan

57 Engineering Alums in Amman, Jordan

Hong Kong, China

Hong Kong, China

122 Engineering Alums in Hong Kong, China

Dallas, Texas

1,349 Engineering Alums in Dallas, Texas

Seattle, Washington

1,447 Engineering Alums in Seattle, Washington

Mumbai, India

1,438 Engineering Alums in India

Taipei, Taiwan

455 Engineering Alums in Taipei, Taiwan


Giant Leaps in Engineering, Discovery Park District

A longtime love of Purdue, and the desire to give back, led alumnus and digital power protection pioneer Dr. Edmund O. Schweitzer III and his wife, Beatriz, to advance the educational and physical landscape at Purdue.

The couple recently made a $3 million gift to the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering to endow a professorship and name the school’s power and energy systems area, boosting the profile of research and education in power engineering at Purdue.

In addition, the company Schweitzer founded, Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories (SEL), will build a 100,000-square-foot facility in Purdue's Discovery Park District, supporting electric power research, engineering services and light manufacturing.

“I love Purdue, with its focus on providing a world-class education,” he says. “I come back time and time again to the things I learned there, the professors who taught me, and even the books I learned from. Purdue now, like then, keeps both its feet on the ground and helps young people from all walks of life, from around the world, make the best of themselves.”

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“This is the breakthrough we’ve hoped for with the Discovery Park District.” - Mitch Daniels | President, Purdue University

Section Investments in Infrastructure

Expansions and improvements to teaching and learning spaces, laboratories, offices

Materials and Electrical Engineering Atrium Gets a Major Upgrade

When Max W. Brown (BSEE ’70) returned to Purdue in 2013 for the first time in more than 40 years, he hardly recognized the campus. Gone were the World War II-era Quonset huts that stood where Neil Armstrong Hall of Engineering is now located. Gone too was the power plant smokestack that once dominated the landscape.

“There’s been a tremendous amount of construction,” Brown says. “I was impressed with the modernization and how these new buildings are preparing students for the future.”

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Section Elevating Student Experience

Scholarships, student opportunities, diversity programs, student clubs

Endowed Scholarship Advances Women in Engineering

When adults ask little girls what they want to be when they grow up, not many answer “engineer.” As it turns out, neither did Patti Poppe.

Poppe, who earned both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from Purdue’s School of Industrial Engineering (BS ’89, MS ’91), grew up as the daughter of an engineer. She was not interested in the field, however, until she visited Purdue during the Women in Engineering Career Day.

“It changed my life,” she says.

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Section Dedicated to the Cause

Fundraising, event hosting, activity planning, advisory boards, networking with alumni

Growing Friendships through Philanthropy

While raising money for an addition to Forney Hall of Chemical Engineering, four of the school’s alumni formed a bond that has lasted beyond the capital campaign of the early 2000s. Another active alum later joined their ranks. The five men, who all spend the winter months in southwest Florida, decided to continue their fundraising efforts by forming a “Naples Breakfast Club.”

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Section Funding Research

Laboratory infrastructure and equipment, project startup funds, graduate student support

Preserving Family Footsteps

In 1941, Spiridon “Dan” Suciu arrived on the Purdue campus from Michigan to enlist in the U.S. Navy V-12 college training program. Little did he know that he would earn three degrees from the school, and that five children and five grandchildren would continue his legacy by earning Purdue degrees.

This year, Dan Suciu’s legacy takes on a new shape. Dan (BSME ’44, MSME ’49, PhD ’51) and his son Jim (BSME ’82) have combined efforts to create the Dan Suciu Student Support Fund, earmarking $50,000 for graduate students enrolled in the School of Mechanical Engineering, currently ranked the No. 8 graduate program in the nation by the U.S. News & World Report. Father and son also have committed $200,000 to name a test cell as part of the recent Maurice J. Zucrow Laboratories expansion.

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Section Flexible Gifts

Administrative funds, student travel and networking, unexpected opportunities

No Strings Attached

Steve Ferdon (BSMSE ’82) greets the workday morning with Purdue no matter where he is.

“I’ve placed Purdue coffee mugs in every lab I’ve used,” says Ferdon, who directs Global Engineering Technology in the Fuel Systems Business Unit at Cummins Inc. and works in laboratories throughout the world. “It was because of my 7:30 a.m. classes as a student at Purdue that I learned to drink coffee, and now, through these mugs, the sun never sets on Purdue’s colors at Cummins.”

Ferdon serves on the Purdue School of Materials Engineering advisory committee and is an advisor for senior design projects. He and his wife, Mary, also give back by making unrestricted financial gifts to the University.

An unrestricted gift has no limitations on how it should be used.

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Section Fueling Faculty

Rewarding, retaining, recruiting faculty and promoting diversity in engineering

Professor-Mentors in Nuclear Engineering Inspire Major Gift

When Paul Wattelet (PhD NE ’67) arrived at Purdue in the early 1960s, he found himself surrounded by the pioneers of nuclear engineering — including several individuals who had worked on the Manhattan Project. He was impressed by their qualifications, but even more so by their attitudes toward him, a recent graduate who was passionate about nuclear power.

“They were the nicest people I ever met in academia,” Wattelet says. “Their teaching was exceptional, and I was inspired by how encouraging they were of me and my research.”

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The College of Engineering Makes Its Mark

On the fifth annual Day of Giving — April 25, 2018 — Purdue alums, friends, faculty, students and staff from all 50 states and 58 countries joined forces to surpass last year’s record by raising $37.6 million from 18,663 gifts — in just 24 hours. For the fourth consecutive year, Purdue’s Day of Giving holds the record in higher education for the most dollars raised in a single day. Over the past five years, Purdue’s social-media based fundraising campaign has generated $105.3 million. Funds go toward freezing tuition, keeping room and board costs down, scholarships and financial aid, study abroad opportunities and research.

Make Your Mark!
Embracing the Make Your Mark theme, supporters made sure the College of Engineering stood out on the Day of Giving leaderboards.
The College of Engineering and four engineering schools dominated the top 10 list, each bringing in over $1M.
Gifts to the College of Engineering totaled $11,574,468, from 2,406 gifts. Engineering raised more than 30% of the total dollar amount on the 2018 Day of Giving.
The Purdue Student Engineering Foundation had 282 gifts pledged winning the student organization challenge for Most Gifts Pledged.
The School of Industrial Engineering won Most Unique Photo
In addition to providing support throughout the year, Engineering alums rise to the challenge and contribute to their favorite campus groups during Purdue Day of Giving.
Electrical and Computer Engineering: $3,478,108, third-most funds raised.
Davidson School of Chemical Engineering: $2,704,415
Mechanical Engineering: $1,162,468
School of Aeronautics and Astronautics: $2,222,877
Purdue Day of Giving 2018

It takes the entire Purdue Engineering community — and gifts of all sizes — to make the Day of Giving successful. In 2018, alumni, friends, students and corporate partners pledged more than 2,400 individual donations to Purdue Engineering. We are grateful for each and every gift.


Neil Armstrong: Inspiration Cast in Bronze

After Neil Armstrong’s death in 2012, Bob Kirk (BSME ’52, HDR ’93) needed a place to grieve. He found it in a visit to Purdue’s campus — to Kirk Plaza, where the statue he commissioned depicts the world’s most famous astronaut as a college student of the 1950s.

Kirk had convinced his limelight-averse friend to agree to the statue in the first place, provided the funding for it and attended its 2007 unveiling.

With Kirk’s own passing in 2017, his niece Peg Reagan recalls an artistic, gracious, brilliant man — a punster with dancing eyes — who “expected the best of other people and of himself.” Retired as chairman of British Aerospace Holdings after a career spent with companies including Litton Industries, Allied Signal Aerospace and CSX Transportation, Kirk was a 1952 graduate in mechanical engineering. Armstrong was a 1955 graduate in aeronautics and astronautics.

“They would have started school at the same time,” Reagan says, “but they didn’t meet at Purdue. Neil’s studies were truncated because of the Korean War. He did go back to Purdue to finish. Bob did four years at Purdue and then went into the Navy. Neil chose the sky, and Bob chose the sea.”

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Section 2018 Distinguished Engineering Alumni/Alumnae

The Distinguished Engineering Alumni/Alumnae Award is presented to men and women who have distinguished themselves in any field in ways that reflect favorably on Purdue University, the engineering profession or society in general. The distinction of DEA has been bestowed upon 540 outstanding individuals.

“My deepest appreciation for your unwavering support. Thank you.” - Alyssa Wilcox

Our Gratitude for a Stellar Year

I have had the privilege to accompany Dean Mung Chiang as he set out to get to know as many of you as possible in his first year. It has been thrilling to see so many alumni, partners and friends respond in such a resoundingly enthusiastic way.

Purdue Engineering has unique opportunities and challenges. Boosted by multiple years of record-setting enrollment, soon there will be more than 100,000 Purdue engineering alumni around the globe — and countless more partners and friends. Simply put, our footprint is growing and so are our opportunities for impact.

As you’ll read in the feature about his global listening tour, Dean Chiang spent untold hours, days and weeks traveling the world to visit with you, gather your input and learn about your many accomplishments. It has been my honor to help facilitate these introductions as we build lifelong relationships and engage with our Boilermaker Engineering family. As such, we’ve begun an exciting initiative to express our gratitude. Called “One Course Higher,” it’s a collection of online courses for all Purdue Engineering alumni to access anytime, anywhere — for free, for life.

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Engineering Sets Another Record

For fiscal-year contributions to the college’s programs, schools and research centers.

FY 2013
FY 2014
FY 2015
FY 2016
FY 2017
FY 2018

Engage with Us

To learn more about making a gift to the College of Engineering or to a specific school or program, please contact the appropriate development officer listed.

College of Engineering

  • Alyssa Wilcox
    Senior Associate Vice President for Advancement
  • Jeff Anderson
    Director of Development
  • Christine Babick
    Director of Communications
  • Rachael Bazzell
    Manager of Development Operations and Donor Stewardship
  • Susan Budreau
    Senior Director of Development
  • Claire Chandler
    Director of Development
  • Melissa Davies
    Senior Director of Development Operations and Donor Stewardship
  • Heather Fabries
    Director of Corporate Relations
  • Laura Henzl
    Senior Director of Foundation Relations
  • John Langenkamp
    Director of Corporate Relations
  • Hadley Thomas
    Senior Director of Alumni Relations and Special Events

Aeronautics and Astronautics

Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering

Davidson School of Chemical Engineering

Lyles School of Civil Engineering

Construction and Engineering Management

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Environmental and Ecological Engineering

Industrial Engineering

Materials Engineering

Mechanical Engineering

Nuclear Engineering

Engineering Programs

Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS)

Global Engineering

Minority Engineering

Professional Practice (Co-Op)

Women in Engineering


College of Engineering project manager

  • Melissa Davies

Purdue Marketing and Media project manager

  • Kate Walker

Managing editor

  • Marti LaChance


  • Ernesto Canossa
  • Nicole Chan
  • Jason Doiy
  • Jimmy Fishbein
  • Andy Hagedon
  • Terry Halsey
  • Eric Hanson
  • Naomi Kuhlken
  • Claire McAdams
  • Gerry Robios Jr.
  • Eric Swanson
  • John Underwood
  • Joe Vaughn
  • Rebecca Wilcox
  • Thomas Winter


  • Becky Brown
  • Stacy Clardie
  • Phillip Fiorini
  • Elizabeth Gardner
  • Marti LaChance
  • Lynette Lamb
  • Aaron Martin
  • Greg McClure
  • Stephanie Mouw
  • Maura Oprisko
  • Heather Pflug
  • Amy Raley
  • Lisa Tally


Fall 2018


Dean's Message

Pinnacle of Excellence at Scale

Dean Mung Chiang: On a Global Listening Tour

Giant Leaps in Engineering, Discovery Park District

The College of Engineering Makes Its Mark

Neil Armstrong: Inspiration Cast in Bronze

Our Gratitude for a Stellar Year


2018 Distinguished Engineering Alumni/Alumnae

Investments in Infrastructure
Expansions and improvements to teaching and learning spaces, laboratories, offices

Elevating Student Experience
Scholarships, student opportunities, diversity programs, student clubs

Dedicated to the Cause
Fundraising, event hosting, activity planning, advisory boards, networking with alumni

Funding Research
Laboratory infrastructure and equipment, project startup funds, graduate student support

Flexible Gifts
Administrative funds, student travel and networking, unexpected opportunities

Fueling Faculty
Rewarding, retaining, recruiting faculty and promoting diversity in engineering

Engage with Us


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