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Purdue Alumni PBAO

About the Purdue Black Alumni Organization

In December 1980, the Purdue Black Alumni Organization was founded at the Commemorative Conference to recognize the 10th anniversary of the Black Cultural Center and the first Black alumni reunion.

We are an inclusive group of alumni, friends, faculty, and staff committed to the advancement of the Black community at Purdue. We support people of color at Purdue by:

  • Advocating for the recruitment and retention of students
  • Increasing financial support for students and alumni
  • Providing a supportive network
  • Serving as a voice for their interests

Our Objectives From the 1980 Constitution
  • Promote the interests of its members and act for their mutual benefit
  • Provide a worldwide network of Black Purdue alumni who support the university and seek to      encourage and develop excellence in students
  • Increase Black alumni participation in the university’s affairs
  • Contribute to the financial support of the university
  • Assist in the recruitment, matriculation, retention, graduation, and placement of Black students
  • Aid the university and the Purdue for Life Foundation in meeting the specific needs of Black      students, alumni, faculty, and staff
  • Establish and promote goals that help strengthen the ties between alumni, the university, and the      community
  • Disseminate information about the university, including the achievements of Black alumni

Black Purdue

Black Purdue University

You can learn more about Purdue’s Black history in Black Purdue, a feature-length documentary that begins with David Robert Lewis (CE 1894), one of the first Black students at Purdue.

Black Purdue takes us from a world of exclusion and isolation through cataclysmic social change and seminal student protests, ushering in an era of achievement at Purdue. Black social change was once confined to a corner in the Sweet Shop, but it eventually became part of the mainstream on campus and in the curriculum, sparking the attention of faculty and the Board of Trustees. Black Purdue is a remarkable tale of evolution that inspires us to believe in the power of hope.

Patsy J. Mellott

BS College of Health and Human Sciences, 1969
Fishers, IN

Patsy earned a bachelor’s degree in food and nutrition in business from Purdue in 1969, in addition to an MBA in food marketing from Michigan State University in 1970. She retired from Kraft Foods in 2006 after 36 years in corporate food marketing and marketing communications management.

A community volunteer, Patsy serves on the Women’s Fund of Central Indiana Advisory Board and the Purdue College of Health and Human Sciences Dean’s Leadership Council, in addition to the President’s Council Advisory Board. She is a former member of the Health and Human Sciences Alumni Board. Patsy held several offices from 2006 through 2013, including president and treasurer. She serves her community’s Discover Indianapolis Club in Fishers, holding several leadership roles for over 10 years.

Patsy has received several honors, including the Purdue University Nutrition Science Department Hall of Fame recipient in 2009 and the Purdue University College of Health and Human Sciences Distinguished Alumni Award in 2016. She also received the college’s Gold and Black Award in 2016, an honor reserved for donors who have moved the college forward by committing exceptional financial resources.

In addition to endowing two scholarships, the Patsy J. Mellott Scholarship and Patsy J. Mellott HHS Scholarship, she established the Patsy J. Mellott Teaching Innovation Award in the College of Health and Human Sciences in 2013. In 2015, she endowed the Patsy J. Mellott Women’s Tennis Coach Performance Award. She is a lead donor in the Christine M. Ladisch Faculty Leadership Award and the Purdue Women’s Network Virginia C. Meredith Scholarship for the College of Health and Human Sciences.