WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - More than 70 years ago, Amelia Earhart came to Purdue Universityto help chart a new course for its female students. This weekend, amajor motion picture about Earhart's life opens nationwide.
Purdue freshman Christy Hupfer said it is easy to see AmeliaEarhart's impact on Purdue, especially among female students.
"It's just inspiring," Hupfer said.
Earhart came to Purdue in 1935 at the request of its PresidentEdward Elliott. He asked Earhart to help motivate the young womenstudying at the university.
"They were trying to recruit more women, and as they weregetting more women, they needed to know how to educate them and hewanted a good role model for the women," Sammie Morris said.
Morris is the Head of Archives and Special Collections at PurdueUniversity. She is the archivist for the largest collection ofEarhart-related papers and artifacts. She said some might besurprised to know of another Purdue connection.
"Purdue financed the plane that Amelia disappeared in for herworld flight. So that's one of the reasons the collection of herpapers and artifacts came here," Morris said.
The film, Amelia, stars actress Hillary Swank. It follows Earhart'scareer in flight. Morris said she is not sure if Purdue will bementioned in the movie, but the university did help with theresearch for the film.
"They contacted us for images they wanted to use either fortheir research or in their movie and the other thing is that theywanted clear-cut plans of her last flight," Morris said.
Regardless, Morris said she was glad the university could getsome notoriety from it.
"I think it's really important to Purdue, because we do havesuch a strong flight history. And it ties in very well with beingthe first university to have our own airport and having so manypilots that have been affiliated with Purdue," said Morris.
Morris said she wonders what Earhart would think of Purdue now:a Big 10 University with a woman at its helm.
Amelia opens nationwide this Friday.
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