Happy 150th Birthday, Purdue University

Purdue University is celebrating its 150th birthday with the release of a new history book.

Posted: May 6, 2019 6:53 AM
Updated: May 6, 2019 7:22 AM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — Purdue University is celebrating its official 150th birthday Monday with the release of a new history book. 

On May 6, 1869, the governor signed a bill creating the state's land grant college. If you ask Purdue historian John Norberg, he'll tell you the campus has grown since then, but the spirit of Purdue is the same now as it was then.


John Norberg. Author, "Ever True: 150 Years at Purdue University"

"Everything that has ever been done at this university still exists today," Norberg said.

In celebration of the university's "Founders' Day," he's compiled all the greatest stories over the past 150 years.

"What was it like to be a student here in the 1890s? What was it like to be a student here after World War II? What was it like to be a student here in the late 1960s? That was a very interesting time."

All of those are questions Norberg will answer in his new book: "Ever True: 150 years of Giant Leaps at Purdue University."

"Purdue history, putting it all into one book is like trying to fill a thimble full of water gushing out of a fire hydrant."

In the book, he debunks a few tall tales:

"The Chocolate Shop was never a speakeasy," Norberg listed off. "John Purdue really didn't intend for the university to be built in the town of Chauncey, he actually was going to put it in Battle Ground. Purdue had the first public medical school in Indianapolis and gave it to IU, basically. [Former Purdue President] Edward C. Elliott swore, literally, that he would not spend one penny on music at Purdue. He ended up spending 100 million pennies to build a hall of music."

Norberg wants people to know that the story, then and now, is all about Purdue people, and their "Giant Leaps."

"This university, everything it has ever done, has been accomplished by people just like them. What we are doing today is going to be looked back upon 150 years from now and I believe they will be just as proud of what we're doing as we are proud of what people did before us."

The book is one of many highlights celebrating Purdue’s Sesquicentennial, 150 Years of Giant Leaps. This yearlong celebration is highlighting Purdue’s history, while focusing on what giant leaps Purdue can take to address the world’s problems.

The 496 page book goes on sale Monday. The book is selling for $44.95. Click here to purchase.

Another book, "Purdue at 150: A Visual History of Student Life," was also released Monday. It contains some of the greatest pictures over the past 150 years. Click here to purchase

West Lafayette
Partly Cloudy
72° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 72°
Kokomo
Partly Cloudy
68° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 68°
Rensselaer
Partly Cloudy
64° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 64°
Fowler
Partly Cloudy
72° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 72°
Williamsport
Partly Cloudy
69° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 69°
Crawfordsville
Partly Cloudy
66° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 66°
Frankfort
Partly Cloudy
66° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 66°
Delphi
Partly Cloudy
67° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 67°
Monticello
Partly Cloudy
67° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 67°
Logansport
Partly Cloudy
64° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 64°
Big weather change ahead!!
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 734736

Reported Deaths: 13471
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1005261750
Lake54085975
Allen40876680
St. Joseph36249552
Hamilton35783408
Elkhart28784442
Tippecanoe22449219
Vanderburgh22359397
Porter18894310
Johnson18053381
Hendricks17298315
Clark13026191
Madison12740339
Vigo12490248
LaPorte12040214
Monroe11936170
Delaware10738187
Howard9974218
Kosciusko9455117
Hancock8346142
Bartholomew8091156
Warrick7795155
Floyd7682178
Grant7090174
Wayne7067199
Boone6732101
Morgan6603139
Dubois6165117
Marshall6092112
Cass5864105
Dearborn582678
Henry5772105
Noble564484
Jackson503273
Shelby493896
Lawrence4580120
Gibson436592
Harrison436472
DeKalb430185
Clinton428353
Montgomery425589
Whitley397539
Huntington393580
Steuben390757
Miami383268
Knox372790
Jasper370848
Putnam362660
Wabash355080
Adams342555
Ripley340470
Jefferson331781
White316354
Daviess298299
Wells292081
Decatur285792
Fayette281862
Greene280485
Posey272033
LaGrange268370
Scott267354
Clay260947
Washington241932
Randolph241781
Spencer232631
Jennings230749
Starke218454
Fountain213646
Sullivan212242
Owen202556
Jay197230
Fulton195740
Carroll190120
Orange184354
Perry184237
Rush173725
Vermillion170044
Franklin168435
Tipton163145
Parke146716
Pike135334
Blackford135132
Pulaski117245
Newton108634
Brown102641
Crawford101415
Benton99014
Martin89515
Warren82415
Switzerland7938
Union71410
Ohio57111
Unassigned0417

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events