Newsroom Search Newsroom home Newsroom Archive
Purdue News

* Purdue president France Córdova announces $304 million campaign to improve student access and success (3 minutes, 30 seconds)
* President France Córdova, Pamela Hornes and Purdue students Nicole Arockiam and Sam Killerman talk about the Access and Success fundraising campaign. (16 minutes 57 seconds)

April 9, 2008

Purdue launches $304 million drive for scholarships, programs

France A. Córdova
Download photo
Starting this fall, new students enrolling at Purdue University will benefit from a $304 million campaign called Access and Success that will expand student aid and programs, President France A. Córdova announced Wednesday (April 9).

The fund drive and internal reallocations will expand the university's student aid contribution to at least $77 million annually. Much of the money raised will be placed in endowments, and endowment earnings will be used to fund the efforts.

The university has raised more than $42 million toward the goal since July 1, 2007. Four of the new scholarship gifts also were announced, including a gift from Purdue biological sciences professor Cynthia Stauffacher, who leads the Markey Center for Structural Biology and the Purdue Cancer Center's Chemical and Structural Biology Program.

Córdova made the announcement during a news conference as a prelude to her inauguration on Friday (April 11). Student access and success is one of the major goals in the university's strategic plan, which will be introduced at the April 11 board of trustees meeting and presented for approval in June.

Access and Success campaign
Download photo
caption below

"We must ensure that good students have access to a Purdue education and the support to succeed," Córdova said. "The loan burden will be greatly reduced. Students from all financial backgrounds will benefit.

"We are very thankful to all of our donors and especially proud that one of the first donors to contribute to this effort is a leading member of our own faculty. Cynthia Stauffacher is a remarkable representative of the Purdue family and has stepped forward to demonstrate her commitment."

About two-thirds of the money raised will go to scholarships for students at all Purdue campuses. The rest will go to support programs in K-12 grades and help students succeed after they enroll.

In addition to providing support for general scholarships and ongoing programs for all Purdue campuses, the university is launching seven specific initiatives at the West Lafayette campus, said Pamela Horne, assistant vice president for enrollment management and dean of admissions.

Purdue Promise: The Purdue Promise ensures a Purdue education to Indiana students whose families earn $40,000 or less and who meet the requirements of the Twenty-First Century Scholars Program. Purdue will provide a combination of grant aid and work-study funding that will meet financial need for four years; these students will not have to take out loans to earn a bachelor's degree. These students also will benefit from academic and social support programs designed specifically for Purdue Promise scholars. The first recipients will start class in fall 2009. About 200 students a year will be enrolled, and by 2013 Horne said she expects that 880 students on campus will be part of this program.

For middle income: The Purdue Marquis Scholarship Program helps Indiana students whose families earn $40,000-$70,000 and who qualify for minimal or no state and federal aid. The average income for Purdue student families is $70,000, and assistance will be provided on a sliding scale. The first scholarships will be available in fall 2009.

For top students: To attract and retain the best talent for Purdue and the state of Indiana, new Presidential and Trustee scholarships will reach out to high-achieving students. The first recipients will start class this fall.

The Boilermaker Common Reading Effort: Incoming students, student leaders, faculty, staff and residents of Tippecanoe County will be enrolled in what is hoped to be the largest common reading experience in the nation, Horne said.

"This common reading program will help prepare students for the rigors of Purdue before they even arrive on campus," Horne said. "Our goal is to get students in the habit of reading and thinking critically before they begin their college careers. We also hope to bring an author of a book to campus to kick off the program and have events throughout the year in which a book is applied in many contexts and disciplines. A shared intellectual experience will build community and get our new students off to the right start."

The program will begin in fall 2009.

Learning communities: These ongoing academic programs allow students to enroll in several of the same courses and live on the same residence hall floors. They will draw on the common reading program.

"Due to their history of success and popularity among Purdue's students and faculty, learning communities will also be a programmatic emphasis of the access and success campaign," Horne said. The university hopes to grow participation in the learning communities from 1,400 students - almost 20 percent of the first-year class - to as many as 2,500. Donations made this year will be applied for fall 2009.

The College Guide: This initiative will place recent Purdue graduates in high schools across Indiana to promote college as an option. The project, beginning as early as fall 2009, would focus on at least 10 Indiana high schools with low college-going rates.

"Over the course of multiple years, we will help thousands of Indiana residents enroll in college," Horne said

Boiler Gold Rush: A Boiler Gold Rush scholarship program will pay the cost for a weeklong Purdue orientation program for low-income, first-time Purdue students. The goal is to double the program to reach 500 students. Donations made now will be applied to this August's orientation program.

Murray Blackwelder, Purdue's senior vice president for advancement, said donors have provided strong support for access and financial aid programs in the past.

"The types of programs that reduce student debt and add to the talent on campus seem to inspire people," Blackwelder said. "Many donors can remember needing assistance when they were younger."

The money from the campaign will be placed in an endowment to ensure the aid and programs will be available yearly. The goal is to have the project fully funded in seven years.

"The university knows our alumni and friends will support this effort," Córdova said. "Our students are the pride and promise of the future. We need to do everything we can to help them succeed."

More information about the five donors is available online at

Writer: Jeanne Norberg, (765) 494-2084,

Sources: France A. Córdova, (765) 494-9708

Cynthia Stauffacher, (765) 494-4937,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

Purdue President France A. Córdova, at left, talks with students Nicky Arockiam and Sam Killermann on Wednesday (April 9) after she announced the university's new Access and Success campaign. New students enrolling at Purdue in the fall will be the first to benefit from the campaign, which, when coupled with internal reallocations, will expand student aid and programs to at least $77 million annually. During Wednesday's news conference, four of the new scholarship gifts also were announced. (Purdue News Service photo/David Umberger)

To the News Service home page

If you have trouble accessing this page because of a disability, please contact Purdue News Service at