sealPurdue News

February 13, 2003

Purdue president to 'engage' Columbia City in all-day visit

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue University leaders are continuing a series of Purdue Days in Indiana with a visit to Columbia City and Whitley County on Tuesday (2/18).

Purdue President Martin C. Jischke (pronounced JIS-key) will be joined by Purdue faculty and administrators as he talks with and listens to area residents who have a variety of ties to Purdue.

Local hosts for the visit will be James and Julie Argerbright. James Argerbright is a 1974 Purdue alumnus and is vice president of agricultural and commercial loans at the Star Financial Bank, former president of the Whitley County Commissioners and a member of numerous county and community boards, committees and associations.

David C. Petritz, director of the Purdue Cooperative Extension Service and associate dean, who will accompany Jischke on the visit, said, "President Jischke has been a strong and consistent advocate of bringing Purdue to the state and the state to Purdue. Purdue is committed to being a force – in learning, discovery and engagement – in Indiana."

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 at 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, and he was named the university's interim president in 1985.

Purdue Days in Indiana have taken Jischke to the Indianapolis State Fair in August, Vincennes in September, Logansport in October, Dearborn County in November, Marion County in December and Jasper County in January. Following the Columbia City visit, Purdue Days will continue in Scottsburg on March 28 and Anderson on April 24.

Writer: Mike Lillich, (765) 494-2077,

Sources: David C. Petritz, (765) 494-8494, david.petritz@ces,

James Argerbright, (260) 248-6050,


During the day, Jischke and his party will be at the following locations:

9 a.m. – Northeast Purdue Agricultural Center (NEPAC). Jischke will meet agricultural producers and address the group on Purdue's commitment to Indiana communities.

10 a.m. – Whitley County Planning and Building Department. Jischke will meet with city and county officials.

10:45 a.m. – Cooperative Agricultural Extension Office. Jischke will meet Charles Trump of the Columbia City Post & Mail and media representatives of surrounding counties.

Noon – 4-H Center West Room. Lunch. Jischke will meet Dorinda Heiden, president of the Whitley County Economic Development Corporation, who will present an overview of the county. Jischke will make remarks.

1:25 p.m. – Quality Inspection & Gage Inc., Columbia City Industrial Park. Jischke will tour the company with owner-president Rick Williams.

2:15 p.m. – C&A Tool. Jischke will tour this international supplier of metalworks for tooling, engineering and contract manufacturing. Jischke will be hosted by Rob Marr, a member of the Advisory Council for the Purdue School of Industrial Engineering.

3:30 p.m. – Steel Dynamics Inc. Jischke will tour the facility and meet with Richard (Dick) Teets Jr., vice president and general manager, Structural Steel Division.

5:30 p.m. – Eagle's Nest Event Center. Jischke will attend a reception with Purdue alumni and community students who will attend Purdue. The 2003 Whitley County Leadership Class will serve as hosts. Jischke will view Leadership Class projects.

6:15 p.m. – Eagle's Nest Event Center. Dinner. Bill McVay will chair the event, called Discovering Purdue in Whitley County. Jischke will be the keynote speaker. Bill Overdeer will make a response on behalf of the county.

NOTE TO JOURNALISTS: A publication-quality photograph of Purdue President Martin C. Jischke is available at Jischke will meet media at 10:45 a.m. at the Cooperative Agricultural Extension Office

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