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October 5, 2007

Purdue mechanical engineering announces gifts for 2 professorships

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue University's College of Engineering on Friday (Oct. 5) will announce major gifts for two new professorships.

The deferred gifts will be recognized at the Dean's Club Luncheon at the Purdue Memorial Union.

"The donors who support these professorships help Purdue attract and retain the very best faculty,â€? said Purdue President France A. Córdova. “Our students, in turn, benefit from the opportunity to study and do research with these professors."

A gift from Ralph D. Daily Sr., of Ann Arbor, Mich., will be used to establish the Ralph D. Daily Sr. Professorship in Mechanical Engineering and for unrestricted use in the School of Mechanical Engineering.

A gift from John C. Jamison, of Williamsburg, Va., will establish the Alpha P. Jamison Professorship in Mechanical Engineering in the College of Engineering. The gift is in honor of his late grandfather, who received a mechanical engineering degree from Purdue in 1895.

"This is an exciting time for the college with these generous gifts, this month’s dedication of the Neil Armstrong Hall of Engineering and the upcoming construction on the Roger B. Gatewood Mechanical Engineering Wing," said Leah Jamieson, the John A. Edwardson Dean of Engineering. “Strong student achievement is a product of good teaching, and these gifts will help keep us moving forward."

Daily graduated from Purdue with a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering in 1954 and was elected to Pi Tau Sigma, the mechanical engineering honor society, and Tau Beta Pi, the engineering honor society. Born in Virginia, Minn., he retired from the Kelsey-Hayes Co., an electrical equipment manufacturing company. His wife, Jean, is deceased, and he has two children, Ralph Daily Jr., a 1983 graduate of Purdue, and Paul Daily.

Jamison, a 1956 industrial economics graduate of Purdue, is a former chair of the Purdue President’s Council and is president of the Williamsburg Community Trust. The trust encourages philanthropy in the greater Williamsburg area. He previously served on the Hershey Foods Corp. board of directors and was president and CEO of The Mariners Museum in Newport News, Va.

He is a retired dean of the College of William and Mary’s School of Business Administration (1983-1990) and served as chairman of Mallardee Associates, a privately held corporate financial services firm.

His grandfather, Alpha P. Jamison, was the first mayor of West Lafayette after the town's name was changed from Chauncey, and he was Purdue’s second basketball coach. In his second season, 1900-01, he led Purdue to its first undefeated record at 12-0. He also coached the football team from 1898 to 1900. As a student he was a star halfback on the football team that was declared the national champion in 1894, running the famed "Flying Wedge" offense. He played baseball and was a record-setting track athlete.

After his coaching days, he remained in the area and became a community leader. He was employed by John B. Ruger Sons, Co.  as secretary and treasurer. A West Lafayette native, he married Clara Ruger. He died in 1962.

The School of Mechanical Engineering serves more than 1,100 undergraduate and graduate students and has extensive facilities that include two major satellite research laboratories, the Ray W. Herrick Laboratories and the Zucrow Laboratories (formerly the Thermal Sciences and Propulsion Center) and more than 30 additional instructional and research laboratories. In addition, a comprehensive computing system environment, libraries and technical services supports the school.

Writer: Clyde Hughes, (765) 494-2073,

Source: Leah Jamieson (765) 494-5346,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

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