seal  Purdue News

November 26, 2003

Purdue to engage Columbus in afternoon visit Dec. 4

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue University leaders, as part of a statewide tour to meet and learn from citizens, will travel to Columbus on Thursday, Dec. 4, to meet local business people and a group of students in a leadership program.

President Martin Jischke

"Our goal with these visits is to listen and to learn," said Don Gentry, vice provost for engagement. "Purdue really wants to know how to best help our state, and to do that we need to experience it firsthand and meet its people."

This is the fourth year Purdue President Martin C. Jischke and university leaders have conducted visits to Indiana communities. Fifty previous stops have ranged from Aurora to Logansport and from Vincennes to the Indiana State Fair. Upcoming visits are being planned for Jasper, Bloomington and Gary.

A full slate of activities is scheduled for the Columbus visit. The day's schedule for Jischke and his party is:

• 12:15 p.m. — Lunch with administrators at Force Construction Company Inc., 990 N. National Road. An engineering and general construction firm, Force Construction conducts major site development, including heavy highway construction and building construction. Its president, Harold Force, received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil engineering from Purdue.

• 2 p.m. — Tour Blairex Laboratories Inc., 1600 Brian Drive. A pharmaceutical company that produces products ranging from sterile saline solutions to sleeping aids, Blairex was established in 1976. Its president, Tony Moravec, serves on the board of directors for Purdue’s Technical Assistance Program. He also was named Indiana’s Entrepreneur of the Year in 1990.

• 3 p.m. — Tour of NTN Driveshaft, Inc., 8251 S. International Drive. The newest company in NTN’s multinational network, NTN Driveshaft produces constant-velocity joints. Operators plan to expand the facility to manufacture other auto-related products.

• 4:15 p.m. — Tour ArvinMeritor Inc.’s North American Information Technology Center, 4580 Central Ave. The center offers data computing and telecommunications services to more than 150 automotive industry manufacturing facilities in 27 countries. After the tour, a brief meeting will take place with Brooke Tuttle, Columbus Economic Development Board president.

• 6 p.m. — Attend a Youth Leadership graduation ceremony, Columbus City Hall, 123 Washington St. The leadership program, sponsored by Bartholomew County Farm Bureau Inc. and the Purdue Extension Service of Bartholomew County, helps high school sophomores and juniors develop leadership skills to better serve their school and extracurricular organizations. More than 90 students have graduated from the program since its inception in 1998. Prior to the ceremony, a brief meeting will take place with Columbus mayor Fred Armstrong, who will proclaim Dec. 4 as Purdue Day in Columbus.

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, another 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.

Note to Journalists: Media can cover any of the planned stops. To make arrangements, contact Dave Petritz, Cooperative Extension Service director, (765) 494-8489,

Writer: Marydell Forbes (765) 496-7704,

Sources: Don Gentry, (765) 494-9095,

David Petritz, Cooperative Extension Service director, (765) 494-8489,

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Purdue University Home Page:

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

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