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Purdue president to 'engage' Vincennes, visit other Indiana cities

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue University leaders will kick off a series of Purdue Days in Indiana with a visit to Vincennes on Wednesday (9/18).

Purdue President Martin C. Jischke (pronounced JIS-key) will be accompanied by a number of key Purdue administrators as he talks and listens to Vincennes-area people who have a variety of ties to Purdue.

During the day, the group will tour the Southwest Purdue Agricultural Center and visit Vigo Elementary School and Vincennes University. The day ends with an alumni dinner.

Jischke has made engagement between Purdue and the state of Indiana, its businesses and citizens a major theme of his presidency.

The Vincennes community hosts are Don Villwock, a Purdue alumnus, farmer and president of Indiana Farm Bureau Inc., and his wife, Joyce, a Purdue alumna. Purdue has longstanding relationships with Vincennes University, with Purdue faculty members based at Vincennes University and West Lafayette-based professors who teach classes at Vincennes.

"President Jischke is interested in the partnerships between Purdue and Vincennes University, programs in agriculture, aviation and the humanities," Villwock said. "The Purdue Cooperative Extension Service and Purdue's Statewide Technology program are also fixtures in our community.

"Purdue has many loyal supporters and alumni in Vincennes who are looking forward to meeting with President Jischke and making plans for even greater engagement between the university and our community."

David C. Petritz, associate dean of Purdue's School of Agriculture and director of the Purdue University Cooperative Extension, said: "President Jischke shares the Extension principle of bringing Purdue to the state and the state to Purdue. He has shown great leadership by initiating these meetings."

Among the faculty and staff accompanying the president will be Joseph Bennett, vice president for university relations; Victor Lechtenberg, dean of agriculture; Petritz; David McKinnis, director of Purdue's Technical Assistance Program; John Baugh, director of agricultural services and regulations; Terry D. Strueh, vice president for governmental relations; Charlene A. Sullivan, associate professor of management; and a representative of Purdue Alumni Association.

Jischke, who came to Purdue in August 2000, is the university's 10th president. He previously served for nine years as president of Iowa State University, like Purdue, a land-grant institution. His experience in higher education also includes 17 years as professor and dean at the University of Oklahoma and five years as chancellor of the University of Missouri-Rolla.

Jischke was the founding president of the Global Consortium of Higher Education and Research for Agriculture. He served as chairman and board member of the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges and as a board member of the American Council on Education, National Merit Scholarship Corporation and Kellogg Commission on the Future of State and Land-Grant Universities. He is on the boards of directors of the Association of American Universities and the American Council on Competitiveness.

After receiving his doctorate in aeronautics and astronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1968, Jischke joined the faculty of the University of Oklahoma's School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering.

During his 17 years at Oklahoma, he served in multiple capacities. He became director of the School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering in 1977. He served as dean of the College of Engineering from 1981 to 1986. He was named interim president of the university in 1985.

Following the Vincennes visit, Purdue Days in Indiana will continue in Logansport on Oct. 29, Aurora on Nov. 26, Indianapolis on Dec. 13, Rensselaer on Jan. 21, Columbia City on Feb. 18, Scottsburg on March 28, and Anderson on April 24.

President Jischke's Itinerary - Vincennes, Sept. 18

9 a.m. – Don Villwock will welcome Jischke to Vincennes at the Southwest Purdue Agricultural Center. Jischke will make remarks to community leaders, legislators, the center's advisory committee, the Extension Board, 4-H council and center staff.

9:45 a.m. – Jischke will begin a van tour of the agricultural center, hosted by Jerry Fankhauser, director of Purdue Agricultural Centers; and Dan Egel, Southwest regional pest management specialist; and participate in Pumpkin Field Day with Knox County first-graders.

10:30 a.m. – Jischke will visit Vigo Elementary School, where he will be hosted by Bill Ritterskamp, the principal, and visit a classroom and see the Reading Recovery Program and the Extension enrichment program, called Professor Popcorn. He will then have a meeting with inner city 4-H club leader Joe Black, a Vincennes attorney. 4-H is a Cooperative Extension program.

11:45 a.m. – Jischke will have lunch with the board of directors of the Premium Producers Association that is investigating building a corn milling plant to produce flour. Purdue faculty and staff have advised them on the project.

3 p.m. – Jischke will meet with members of the Vincennes University administration and tour the campus.

4 p.m. – Jischke will attend a reception in the McCormick Science Building with Vincennes students, faculty and staff associated with Purdue's transfer programs in agriculture and technology. The host is Purdue agronomist and transfer program coordinator Chuck Mansfield.

5:30 p.m. – Jischke will meet Purdue alumni at Southwest Purdue Agricultural Center.

6 p.m. – Jischke will attend a cook-out hosted by Purdue alumni. He and Villwock will address the group.

Writer: J.M. Lillich, (765) 494-2077,

Sources: Don Villwock, (317) 692-7750,

David C. Petritz, (765) 494-8489,

NOTE TO JOURNALISTS: A publication-quality photograph of Purdue President Martin C. Jischke is available at There will be a photo opportunity at 9:45 a.m. at Pumpkin Field Day for Knox Co. first-graders at the Southwest Purdue Agricultural Center.

Related Web sites:
Meet our President home page

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