sealPurdue News

July 22, 2002

Purdue to showcase entire university during day at State Fair

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – For one day, the Indiana State Fairgrounds will be Purdue University's home away from home.

Discover Purdue Day at the Indiana State Fair will be Aug. 14 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. University representatives will take part in several events throughout the day and there will be more than 40 tents with interactive Purdue exhibits. Among the day's events will be a chance to meet and have a photograph taken with astronaut and Purdue alumnus Jerry Ross.

"The university has long had a presence at the State Fair – through 4-H and other Purdue Extension programs – and this is a way to show the people of Indiana the tremendous variety of programs and services Purdue offers," said Purdue President Martin C. Jischke.

William H. Stinson, executive director of the Indiana State Fair, said, "This is the first time that a university has sponsored a day at the fair. However, Purdue and 4-H have been here all along, and increasing the visibility of gold and black for that day seems very natural."

The Main Street of the fairgrounds will be Purdue's address for the day. The area near the gazebo will house displays representing every school of the university.

"The exhibits will be informative, fun and interactive," said Dana Neary, event co-organizer. "This is a neat way to take what we're doing on campus and bring those things to the center of the state."

Among the displays will be:

• A solar car, Baja car and Formula car designed by students in the Schools of Engineering.

• A robot built through a student organization called FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology).

• A tractor built and designed by students in the School of Agriculture.

• Information on a new technology center for visualization and perceptualization called Envision.

• "Finding Amelia Earhart," a Purdue Libraries exhibit about the famous aviatrix who disappeared 65 years ago during her solo flight around the world.

Throughout the tents, more than 300 Purdue staff and students will be available to provide information on admissions, financial aid and academic programs.

In addition to the exhibits, Purdue personalities and alumni will be at events throughout the day. Purdue agriculture experts also will participate in events tied to Farmer's Day, which coincides with Discover Purdue Day.

Astronaut Jerry Ross will speak with visitors at the Purdue tents from noon until 2 p.m. A large backdrop of the Earth as seen from the moon will be set up and people can have their picture taken with him. Ross has logged 58 hours and 18 minutes in nine spacewalks, more spacewalk time than any other NASA astronaut. His seventh space flight, aboard Atlantis in April 2002, also is a record.

Later Ross will be joined at an autograph session by Miss Indiana and Purdue student Tangra Riggle, coach and football All-American Leroy Keyes, and other Purdue celebrities. Purdue's National Public Radio affiliate WBAA will broadcast live all day from the Our Land Pavilion.

The schools of Agriculture, Veterinary Medicine and Consumer and Family Sciences will have several displays throughout the duration of the fair in the Our Land Pavilion. Among the displays will be information on agro-terrorism, food safety, financial management, exotic species and integrated pest management.

In the Expo Hall on Aug. 14 will be displays of products created for people with disabilities by Purdue students in EPICS (Engineering Projects in Community Service) and computer games will be highlighted at the display "Cyberprotect."

Those who come to the fairgrounds for Purdue Day will be greeted by gate employees wearing Purdue shirts. Banners with the message "Discover Purdue" will hang around the fairgrounds. The sights and sounds of the Purdue cheerleaders, members of the "All-American" Marching Band and a Purduette ensemble also will fill the air. Rides on the Boilermaker Special will be available from 2-4 p.m.

The day will culminate with a 5 p.m. rally at the Main Street stage followed by a parade at 6:30 p.m. The rally will include several Purdue dignitaries, including Jischke. Those who attend also may enter a drawing to win a pair of tickets to the Sept. 28 Purdue vs. Minnesota football game.

A complete listing of the day's events and a map of the fairgrounds can be found on the Web.

Purdue Day at the Indiana State Fair is one of two summer road shows for the university. The first will be Saturday (7/20) at Navy Pier in Chicago. Both events are part of the university's ongoing Discover Purdue initiative, designed to give citizens and prospective students an inside glimpse of the university.

Writer: Beth Forbes, (765) 494-2722;

Sources: Martin C. Jischke, (765) 494-9708

William H. Stinson, (317) 927-7500

Dana Neary, (765) 494-9113;

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

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