sealPurdue News

March 11, 2003

Tip leads to recovery of historic Purdue bandleader's bust

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue University police today (Tuesday, 3/11) received a tip that led to the recovery of a bronze bust of Paul Spotts Emrick, the university's first band director, which had been reported missing on Feb. 26.

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Ron Fosnaugh, captain of special services, said police received an anonymous letter today via campus mail that told them where to find the bust. Based on information in the letter, police recovered the bust in a side ditch in the area of County Road 700 S.

The 30-inch-tall bust, valued at $20,000, was returned to Purdue Bands and eventually will be returned to its pedestal in the Elliott Hall entry plaza.

Emrick's bust was sculpted by Evansville, Ind., artist Don Ingle, who also has created busts of several Purdue presidents. The bust of Emrick was dedicated in April 2000.

Emrick, who died July 28, 1965, in Rochester, Ind., led the Purdue marching band from 1905 to 1954. He is remembered as an innovator who had the Purdue marching band form the letter "P" on the football field in 1907 – the first time a band had ever broken military ranks to create a formation of any kind. Among his other accomplishments, he introduced Purdue's 10-foot-tall "World's Largest Drum." It also was during his tenure that the band came to be known as the "All-American" Marching Band.

Additional information on Emrick is available on the Purdue University News Service Web site.

Writer: Brian Zink, (765) 494-2080,

Sources: Ron Fosnaugh, (765) 494-8221,

Kathy Matter, Purdue Bands director of public relations, (765) 496-6785,

Related story:
Bust dedication honors Purdue Bands legend Paul Spotts Emrick

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