seal  Purdue News

February 6, 2004

Purdue to engage Dubois County in all-day visit

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue University leaders, who are traveling the state to meet and learn from its citizens, will stop next in Dubois County on Tuesday, Feb. 17, to visit schools and businesses.

Purdue President Martin C. Jischke and other Purdue leaders will visit the Southern Indiana-Purdue Agricultural Center, Wabash Valley Produce, Kimball International and Jasper Desk Company, in addition to other locations.

"Our goal with these visits is to listen and to learn," said Don K. 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 fifth year Jischke and university leaders have conducted these daylong visits to Indiana communities. More than 50 previous stops have ranged from Aurora to Logansport and from Vincennes to the Indiana State Fair. Upcoming visits are being planned for Bloomington and Gary.

A full day of activities is scheduled for the Dubois County visit:

• 9:30 a.m. – Tour Southern Indiana-Purdue Agricultural Center and the Heeke Animal Disease Diagnostic Lab, 11367 E. Purdue Farm Road, Dubois. The Southern Indiana Purdue Agricultural Center conducts research for farmers on beef cattle management, grazing, forage and crop production, and forest management. The Heeke Animal Disease Diagnostic Lab, located at the same site, serves the poultry and livestock industries in southern Indiana.

• 10:30 a.m. – Tour Wabash Valley Produce Inc., 4886 E 450 N., Dubois. Wabash Valley Produce Inc., a family-owned corporation, is one of the largest egg-breaking facilities in the United States. At its plant, egg yolks and whites are separated and shipped to companies like Sara Lee and Beatrice Foods.

• Noon. –Lunch with community leaders at the Jasper Holiday Inn, U.S. 231 South, Jasper. Attendees will include William J. Schmitt, mayor of Jasper; Gail Kemp, mayor of Huntingburg; Rich Eckerle, president of the Dubois County Council; Larry Vollmer, president of the Dubois County Board of Commissioners; Nancy Eckerle, executive director of the Jasper Chamber of Commerce; and Christine Prior, executive director of the Huntingburg Chamber of Commerce.

• 1:30 p.m. – Tour of Jasper Desk Co., 415 E. Sixth St., Jasper. The Jasper Desk Company, established in 1876, is the oldest office furniture manufacturer in the United States. Its president and CEO, Philip Gramelspacher, is a Purdue graduate who says he remains committed to using American-made products whenever possible. The majority of the hardwood the company uses is grown in Indiana.

• 2:30 p.m. – Tour Kimball International, 1600 Royal St., Jasper. Kimball International produces commercial office seating, which is shipped throughout the world.

• 5 p.m. – Tour Vincennes University Jasper Campus, 850 College Ave. The campus has served the educational needs of the citizens of Dubois and surrounding counties since 1970. Dean Chris Ezell will lead the tour.

• 6 p.m. – Tour the Purdue Extension Office of Dubois County, 1482 Executive Blvd., Suite A., Jasper. Participants in local Extension programs will share their thoughts about the importance of Extension services. After the visit, Jischke and his party will tour the Dubois County 4-H Fairgrounds, recognized as one of the finest fairgrounds in the state.

• 7 p.m. – Attend an alumni reception at the Old Town Hall, 309 N. Geiger St., Huntingburg. The reception is sponsored by the Purdue Club of Dubois County. High school counselors and prospective Purdue students also will be in attendance.

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.

Writer: Marydell Forbes (765) 496-7704,

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

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

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

Note to Journalists: The media may attend any of the events. To make arrangements, contact Dave Petritz, Cooperative Extension Service director, at (765) 494-8489, A publication-quality photo of Martin C. Jischke is available at

* To the Purdue News and Photos Page