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Long-time tradition returns to Purdue this weekend

The Old Masters is a three-day event where 10 outstanding individuals are chosen to represent Purdue and inspire Boilermakers.

Posted: Oct 31, 2019 7:56 AM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI)—A long-time tradition returns to Purdue this weekend. The Old Masters has been an annual event since 1950.

It’s a three-day event where 10 outstanding individuals are chosen to represent the university and inspire current Boilermakers. 

To be an Old Master, you do not have to be a graduate of Purdue University.

Mary Christiansen, Publicity Co-Chair of the Old Masters, said every year a diverse group of individuals is chosen.

She explained it’s a way to inspire the most students.

“This year we have someone who established the Biomedical Engineering School here at Purdue, and then we have someone who’s worked on Dr. Seuss’ 2018 The Grinch,” she explained.

This year’s theme is “Building a Boilermaker Legacy.”

The group of 'Old Masters' make visits around campus in classrooms and residence halls. The group is escorted by 50 hosts, who are considered some of Purdue's most dedicated and enthusiastic students. 

The goal of the program is to encourage boilermakers and show they can be successful, despite the adversity they may face along the way.

Christiansen wanted to be a part of the program after she learned everyone faces challenges on the way to success.

“I too can reach those levels. I don’t need to put a cap on myself," Christiansen said. "I can find inspiration within those individuals and eventually overcome certain challenges that face my way.”

While most of the events during the three-day event are specifically for students, there is one event that is open to the general community.

‘An evening with the Old Masters' is a free panel with all 10 individuals. It's a way for the community to learn all that the program does, and a chance to ask questions. 

This year, the 'Old Masters' will focus on storytelling to explain their success and the hardships they've faces.

The event is on Monday from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m. in Loeb Playhouse. 

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