The freshman class that enrolled at West Lafayette in August 1999 was one of the largest and also one of the best-prepared that ever came to Purdue. The university's goal is to remain accessible to deserving students from Indiana, while attracting some of the highest-achieving students from the Hoosier state and throughout the nation. This blend of excellence and accessibility is crucial to the land-grant mission.
In recent years, the demand for admissions to Purdue has increased steadily as more prospective students have recognized the success of our graduates and the quality of the University's programs. Because of this tremendous demand, the freshman class of 2000 reached capacity before the end of the previous academic year for the first time in Purdue history.
Although the exact profile of the incoming class will not be known until after students report to campus for the start of the fall semester August 21, some preliminary statistics make it apparent that the freshman class of 2000 will be even more impressive than last year's group.
A University committee, which includes senior members of both the faculty and the administration, manages the enrollment process to assure that the standards of academic quality, accessibility and fairness, are maintained and that every student who applies to Purdue receives excellent service whether or not he or she is admitted to the University.
The strong position of the incoming freshman class will have a positive influence on the entire student body and will translate into greater academic performance, a higher graduation rate, and, ultimately, career and personal success.
The campus routine is much different in midsummer than it is during the fall and spring semesters. Although the enrolled student population drops from some 37,000 to the estimated 10,500 who will attend summer session classes, this remains a busy place through May, June, and July. For example, the Purdue residence halls and other units of Housing and Food Services will provide rooms, prepare meals, support programs, and furnish meeting space for some 19,000 people attending 150 different conferences on the West Lafayette campus between May 15 and August 15.
The people attending range in age from small children to octogenarians, and their activities and needs are just as diverse as their ages. Among the groups are professional organizations, youth groups, sports camps, and religious conferences, including the largest, 6,000 teen-agers from the Evangelical Free Church.
Purdue provides all the services and facilities of a small city to each of these conferences. Many of them return to campus year after year, indicating a high level of satisfaction with the hospitality and the quality of accommodations.
Coach Joe Tiller, his staff, and the Boilermaker football team will assemble in just a few weeks to start preparations for the 2000 season, which will kick off at Ross-Ade stadium on September 2. Excitement is running very high among players, coaches, and fans, but the team already won a major victory. Purdue is one of just 26 major university programs recently recognized by the American Football Coaches Association for graduating more than 70 percent of its players.
I'm hoping for another great season, but the Boilermakers are winners even before they take the field.
Steven C. Beering