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New President welcomes new Boilermakers

Dear Students,

As you discover Purdue, picture yourself navigating around campus with a map. Now picture me looking over your shoulder at the map. You see, I too will be a newcomer to Purdue this fall. So, when I say "welcome to Purdue," please respond, "you too!"

I am excited to join you in this class of Boilermakers. You and I are the newest members of the Purdue family.

A first step will be to get to know each other. I would like to hear what you think makes Purdue special, and what we can do together to make it even better. I look forward to invitations to your club events and athletic competitions. Don't be surprised when I show up!

I hope you will try new things. For example, you will have opportunities at Purdue, a premier research university, to get involved in undergraduate research, or do an internship with a company.

The world is so interconnected that you might benefit by including study or research in another country. It is good to venture into areas outside your immediate interests. If you're an engineering major, try a poetry or anthropology class. If you're in liberal arts, you might be delighted to learn a little about entomology or genomics.  Public service is important and at Purdue it is integrated into some of your classes. These experiences can be transformational.

Above all, develop an appreciation for the joy of learning and the power of critical thinking.

What is the key to attaining success? Aim high: Reach for the stars. Since you've been accepted to Purdue, you already have demonstrated your ability to study hard, but there's another ingredient for success: A support system of friends. Take advantage of Boiler Gold Rush, a week designed to help first-year students get to know the campus and one another. There you will learn about 900 student clubs and organizations.

Consider joining one of the many learning communities where you can live and study with others. Take a women's study class or visit the International Center or our centers devoted to Latino, African American and Native American cultures.

There are academic advisers in every college. Student Services can help you if you have special learning needs. Faculty, too, can provide guidance. If you live in a residence hall, an adviser lives on your floor. If you have health-related concerns, the Student Health Center can help.

While you are learning your way around the campus, I will be doing the same. Like you, I chose Purdue because it is a great university that can help me learn and grow. I am looking forward to the new discoveries we will make together.

Drop me a note and let me know how you are doing at . And when you see me on campus, wave and say hello!

France A. Córdova, the chancellor at the University of California Riverside, will become the president of Purdue this August. An astrophysicist, she was the first woman to be the Chief Scientist for NASA. More information about her is available at

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