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Club Newsletter Archives

August 2020

Courtney’s Corner

It’s hard to believe that we’re already at the end of August!

What have been your highlights from this summer? Besides moving, one of my personal highlights was the Alumni Leaders Conference. Although we couldn’t be together in person, it was great to connect with so many of you in our first-ever virtual conference.

I want to make sure to thank our incredible team at the Purdue Alumni Association who helped put everything together. This was a first for many of us, so I’m grateful for everyone’s hard work, patience, and thoughtful collaboration as we worked to make this event a success.

One of the highlights for me was celebrating so many of you at the virtual awards ceremony on July 30.  In addition to honoring our Gold, Silver, and Bronze “P” clubs, we recognized our two annual Boilermaker Pride Award winners, shared some cherished Purdue memorabilia, and sang “Hail Purdue!” to end the evening.

Thank you to everyone who took time out of your busy schedules to join us! If you weren’t able to attend or want to revisit a session, we’ll have recordings of each session available in the coming weeks.

As students return to campus, they’ll be counting on us — both now, and in the months and years ahead. The work you do is more important than ever. Helping raise money for scholarships, creating a supportive network for fellow Purdue alumni, encouraging and welcoming students to the Purdue community.

Courtney Magnuson (M’04, MS HHS’06)
Senior Director, Alumni Outreach

Help Purdue Meet the Challenge of Tomorrow

Purdue Day of Giving is September 9!

Join the entire Purdue community across the country and around the world as we help the University take its next giant leap.

Event Guidelines

As a reminder, all fall 2020 university-sponsored on-campus convocations will be canceled to prioritize space for learning and discovery activities and to ensure campus capacity to follow the safest social distancing recommendations.

As of July 7, off-campus events are permitted with the following stipulations:

  • Any university-sponsored off-campus, in-person fall 2020 event, regardless of funding source, that may include 50 or more people, must have the approval of the Office of the Provost.
  • Any off-campus, in-person fall 2020 event with fewer than 50 attendees that is sponsored by the University or any college, division, or other unit of the University, regardless of the funding source, must adhere to the health and safety guidelines of the locality and venue in which the event is held and be approved by the dean, associate/vice provost, or vice president responsible for the event or their designee.

Boilermaker Pride Award Winners

The Purdue Alumni Association’s Boilermaker Pride Award recognizes a club leader who has contributed time and service to the alumni club program and to the Purdue Alumni Association over a significant period of time.

Here are this year’s winners, first announced at the Alumni Leaders Conference in July.

Bob Shriner (MS HHS’74, HHS’68)

Coming from a Purdue family, Bob Shriner bleeds black and gold. His grandfather worked in Athletics and his son now works in the University Development Office. Shriner has provided leadership for the St. Joe Valley club, helping it achieve Gold status for many years.

Shriner is most proud of his club’s scholarship committee and the Scholarship Information Breakfast, which has educated the Mishawaka community about his club’s program for years. Bob takes every opportunity possible to mention the tremendous scholarship support the local club provides for so many deserving future Boilermakers.

Joan Christopher (LA’71)

Joan Christopher has provided leadership for the Lehigh Valley club in Pennsylvania for more than 10 years, achieving Gold status every year. She has organized clever and successful events like an alumni club food drive challenge involving eight alumni clubs in the area and benefiting the local Second Harvest Food Bank. She personally took this event on and grew it from three clubs to eight.

Christopher comes from a strong Boilermaker family. Both her parents attended Purdue, as did her husband and two children. In fact, Joan’s father was involved with running the Purdue Airlines in the 1950s. 

July 2020

­Alumni Leaders Conference

The Alumni Leaders Conference is now virtual! Join us as we celebrate our alumni board, club, and network volunteers who support our mission of connecting alumni to Purdue and to each other.

Tuesday, July 21–Thursday, July 23
Tuesday, July 28–Thursday, July 30

Reserve your spot for training, discussion, and networking with other volunteer leaders. Matt Folk (ECE’91), president and CEO of Purdue for Life, will also join us for a conversation about what’s on the horizon!

Purdue for Life Update

By now, you have likely heard or read a variety of news regarding Purdue for Life. (Did you miss the press release? Here it is!)

We have included a brief overview of recent updates below. You should have already received an invitation to join Purdue Alumni board chairman Dan Dawes. This will be a great opportunity to hear from Dan directly and ask your questions!

Since the fall of 2019, a group has been working on a nonbinding letter of intent (LOI) that would set the expectations for Purdue for Life.

In February 2020, the Purdue Alumni Board of Directors approved a resolution stating that we will “Move forward to join Purdue for Life (PFL) in order to pursue the mission of the Purdue Alumni Association (PAA) with a mutually agreed upon transition plan of up to 24 months toward an integrated advancement model.”

There are many complexities to make this happen contractually. Our desire is that the Purdue Alumni Association and its mission will endure while ensuring that many of its operations will be properly carried out by the new entity.

Ultimately, the final version of the LOI will be put forward for review by the board and final endorsement. The Purdue Alumni Association will continue to exist to serve as an engagement adviser to Purdue for Life. We will also hold a seat in the Board of Managers for Purdue for Life, maintain responsibility for our endowment, and conduct the search and selection for the Purdue Alumni trustees.

Purdue Alumni Business Directory

Own a business? We’re here to support you through this difficult time.

There has never been a more important time for us to band together as a community. Listing your business in our directory lets people know that you’re a fellow Boilermaker and that they should do business with you!

1. If you don’t have one yet, create an account!

2. Then create a listing for your business!

Listing your business on our directory is free for the duration of the current pandemic.

Visit to get started.

Questions? Contact Baylee Neff, director of business partnerships.

How Can I Stay Positive During Tough Times?

The last few months have been hard on everyone to one degree or another. We asked one alumna to share some of her perspective on how to stay positive. The following excerpt has been taken from the Purdue Alumnus website. Check out the link below to read more!

by Michelle Gladieux (HHS’93, MS T’95)

Dear Michelle,

Any tips about staying positive in tough times? There are some stressed-out people in my circle sharing negativity with everyone around them and I don’t want that to be me.

First, compassion. We all lose our composure sometimes. It takes a strong will not to let dark moods and scary situations bleed into interactions with others. It’s natural to want to vent. There is a line, however, that one should not cross. It happens when we stoke the fears of others unnecessarily rather than exercising some restraint.


June 2020

Fiscal Year-End & Updated Requirements

The fiscal year ends on June 30, and club leaders should be sure to submit all of their activities to Purdue Alumni to determine if their club qualifies for dues sharing and scholarship funds.

Without the ability to host in-person events for the foreseeable future, Purdue Alumni has revised the program to offer alternate opportunities to earn credit for an event. The revisions use the same structure as the current club recognition program requirements. The new opportunities are outlined in the chart below.

These revisions are retroactive to March 11 and will expire at the end of the University’s fiscal year on June 30, just as the program always has.

Reporting of events will still be via the post-event information form, which now includes these event options/alternatives.

One Event Equals

Option 1: One virtual event, hosted in Webex, Zoom, etc.

Option 2: Three “social media engagements” of Purdue Alumni Association’s social media posts to your club’s social account (Facebook, alumni portal, etc.). MUST include a question to encourage alumni engagement/participation with your post.

Option 3: Five “social media shares” of Purdue Alumni Association’s social media posts to your club’s social account (Facebook, alumni portal, etc.)

A maximum of three events can be earned by any combination of these above options and will qualify as any engagement type (personal, professional, intellectual, scholarship/student engagement, or service) needed by your club to earn Gold, Silver, or Bronze status.

Please reach out to your regional liaison if you are unsure of the annual requirements.

Leader Profile: Randy Ramsey

Randy Ramsey (S’85) attended alumni events when he lived in Connecticut and Dallas. But when he moved to Tucson, Arizona, six years ago, he got involved with the Purdue Alumni Club of Southern Arizona.


As the active club leaders began stepping down, Ramsey stepped up. He became involved in the club leadership, and four years later was elected president of the southern Arizona club. He recently was elected for another two-year term, and he plans to extend some of the initiatives the club has begun.

For one, Ramsey says he is fortunate that he has an active board. “All members of the board and officers are extremely engaged in the work of the club,” Ramsey says. This includes his wife, Deb Ramsey (S’85).

One of the most useful efforts has been expansion of the club’s Facebook page. The closed group has 75 members. The club posts event information on the page as well as other items.

“Some local people are only in the Facebook group,” Ramsey explains. “They have never attended any in-person events.”

One of the more successful uses of the club’s Facebook page is to raise money for its scholarship fund on Purdue Day of Giving. “We have a promotional campaign that increases posts as the Day of Giving approaches,” Ramsey says. “That’s how we fund most of our scholarships each year.”

The club has seen steady and significant increases in donations each year for the past two years it has heavily used Facebook to promote its scholarship.

The southern Arizona club frequently partners with other Big Ten alumni on events, including a Big Ten football kickoff fundraiser for Big Brothers Big Sisters and monthly euchre nights.

Alumni Leaders Conference

The annual Alumni Leaders Conference (ALC) is quickly approaching, and this year, given the circumstances, Purdue Alumni has created an exciting virtual event.

The ALC will be spread over six partial days in the last two weeks of July — Tuesday–Thursday, July 21-23, and Tuesday–Thursday, July 28-30 — to offer club and network leaders from around the globe greater flexibility to attend. Matt Folk (ECE’91), CEO of Purdue for Life, will be the keynote speaker.

Purdue Alumni is planning some very useful and informative sessions for club leaders. In addition to an update on activities from each alumni association department, there will be breakout sessions on various initiatives and programs as well as opportunities to connect with fellow alumni leaders via networking sessions.

The conference will be held via a Webex virtual meeting, and each session will be recorded for viewing at a later time if schedule conflicts arise. Registration will open in mid-June.

Grandparents University Canceled

Grandparents University, usually held in June, has been canceled this year. Stay tuned for further details.

May 2020

Recognition Program Revisions

Purdue Alumni recognizes the effect of the stay-at-home orders on clubs and has revised the program to offer alternate opportunities to earn credit for an event.

The revisions use the same structure as the current club recognition program requirements. The new opportunities are outlined in the chart below.

These revisions are retroactive to March 11 and will expire at the end of the University’s fiscal year on June 30, just as the program always has.

“We want to encourage continued engagement with alumni and constituents in your geographical areas, while understanding our dedicated volunteer alumni leaders have varying levels of comfort with technology,” says Courtney Magnuson, senior director of alumni outreach.

One Event Equals:

Option 1:  One virtual event, hosted in Webex, Zoom, etc.

Option 2: Three “social media engagements” of Purdue Alumni Association’s social media posts to your club’s social account (Facebook, alumni portal, etc.). MUST include a question to encourage alumni engagement/participation with your post.

Option 3: Five “social media shares” of Purdue Alumni Association’s social media posts to your club’s social account (Facebook, alumni portal, etc.)

A maximum of three events can be earned by any combination of these above options and will qualify as any engagement type (personal, professional, intellectual, scholarship/student engagement, or service) needed by your club to earn Gold, Silver, or Bronze status.

20 for 20

The Class of 2020 is experiencing the disruption of a lifetime, with the move to online learning, the closure of campus, and a virtual commencement. Some students are dealing with family members or friends who have contracted COVID-19.

In this environment, it can be hard for students to focus or appreciate the time they have had as an undergraduate student. That’s why the Purdue Alumni Association developed “20 for ‘20” — an opportunity that allowed alumni to offer words of encouragement for 2020 graduates.

A Zoom room was created on the alumni portal, where volunteer alumni leaders recorded a 10-second message to the class of 2020, offering advice and encouragement to the latest Purdue graduates.

All of the clips were edited into a video that will be played during commencement, which is a virtual event that can be accessed on demand. The video is housed on the commencement website.

“The idea spawned from the senior week program,” says Haley Atwell, assistant director of recent graduate initiatives. “We think it is going to be really special for graduating seniors to hear from alumni during these different times.”

Purdue Alumni will be promoting the video on its social media channels, the alumni portal, and via emails.

Alumni Portal

The Purdue Alumni portal is open! The feature-filled alumni portal has created a virtual world offering a directory of Purdue businesses, a jobs board, and communities where alumni can engage with other Purdue graduates.

Many communities have already been established. One features wine as its topic, and Purdue Alumni is partnering with the College of Agriculture and will offer a 16-week online wine course that will cover growing the grapes, fermentation, presentation, and sale.

Another community is geared toward early childhood development for parents. This community is in direct response to questions Purdue Alumni has received about resources for parents during the coronavirus pandemic. This community offers videos from early childhood development faculty offering guidance and lessons. It also serves as a virtual meeting place where alumni can engage with one another on issues in this critically important field.

The interactive business directory allows users to search for businesses owned by Purdue alumni, so they can support fellow Boilermakers. Any Purdue alumni-owned business can be listed. The service is free during the pandemic. Once “normal” returns, businesses can buy a membership to continue or opt out and leave with no charge.

The jobs board not only lists jobs that alumni can search but also allows alumni to discuss job-related issues and access career development ideas. In addition, it will contain information on the mentoring program as it is developed.

“We want to expand the portal, and mentoring is high on the list,” says Pat Brown, director of digital marketing. “Connecting our alumni to young alumni or individual students creates amazing opportunities for Boilers to help Boilers.”

Brown adds that about 75 percent of Purdue alumni in the portal have volunteered to be mentors. Purdue Alumni is working on efforts to get students to visit the portal, review all of the potential mentors, and start those very important conversations.

“Online components offer opportunities that physical meetings can’t,” Brown adds. “Not everyone can get to West Lafayette frequently, but they can spend an hour online.”

About 4,000 alumni are active users on the portal, and more alumni are encouraged to find the part of the portal that appeals to them and engage with others for advice, socializing, and fun.

Visit the alumni portal

April 2020

Boilermaker Pride Award

A student’s ties to the University don’t end with the turn of a tassel on graduation. Alumni clubs are the mechanism for keeping Boilermaker loyalty alive, and club leaders are critical to the success of an alumni program.

There are many hardworking and deserving Boilermakers who volunteer hundreds of hours, drive thousands of miles, donate their hard-earned money, and devote lots of energy to their local alumni clubs.

But not all these volunteers get the recognition they deserve. That’s what the Boilermaker Pride Award is all about.

“People think someone else will nominate a deserving volunteer or that the volunteer has already won the award,” says John Sautter, senior advisor to Purdue Alumni. “But that isn’t always the case, so we don’t want anyone to assume.”

The deadline to nominate a deserving volunteer is fast approaching — May 1. Think about alumni who unselfishly give their time to ensure that clubs function, activities occur, and graduating students have a Boilermaker near them to contact.

Established in 2005, the Boilermaker Pride Award was created to recognize those dedicated volunteers who don’t necessarily have the time but have the heart to make things happen where they can. The award is given to one in-state and one out-of-state club leader who have contributed time and service to the alumni club program and to the Purdue Alumni Association over a number of years.

Consideration should be given to the nominee’s contribution in the following ways:

  • has served as an officer in a local club
  • has served a club for more than 10 years
  • has unselfishly contributed time and effort to a local club
  • is a current Purdue Alumni Association member

“If you enjoy coming to alumni club meetings, and if seeing other Boilermakers means something to you, then nominate someone who is making that happen,” Sautter adds.

Nominations should be submitted online or emailed as an attachment to

Alumni Leader Profile: Natalie Shen

Natalie Shen (A’14) was looking for people to meet when she moved to Washington, DC, after graduation, and Purdue answered the call. She found the local Purdue Alumni club and started playing on the kickball team. Then, she began attending other events.

In April last year, a position came open on the club’s board that Shen filled. In July, the president stepped down, and Shen stepped in. Since then, she and the club’s leadership have been coordinating game watches, setting up other events, and doing volunteer work — all while looking ahead to the future.

Shen says the club wants to continue its volunteer work. In the past, the club has partnered with the local Indiana University and Notre Dame alumni clubs to honor veterans in the Washington area; Shen says the club is planning more of those collaborative efforts.

The club is also looking to host more networking and job-focused events and to take advantage of prominent area alumni. “Washington is full of career-oriented people,” Shen says. “Once they are in the area, they want to meet others, especially people in similar jobs.”

With all of the active military members and veterans in the Washington area, the club is trying to find events and activities that interest them. Many of them can’t access social media, so the club has a unique outreach challenge.

Shen also notes that when the International Council of Purdue Women met in Washington last year, she saw women Purdue grads who had never come to other alumni events. “We want to diversify our events to attract a larger cross section of alumni and to appeal to specific segments of the alumni population at the same time,” she says.


The extension of the deadline for students to apply for alumni club scholarships has pushed back other milestones in the selection and awarding process.

Purdue’s Division of Financial Aid (DFA) is reviewing the applications received and will send those that meet your club’s awarding criteria to you for review. Clubs that keep their scholarship funds with Purdue will receive their applications in the weeks following the March 15 deadline for students to apply.

By April 30, clubs should select their scholarship recipients and email their Purdue Alumni regional liaison with the names. At that point, clubs can inform the recipients.

Club leaders can access more detailed information about scholarships in the resources portal.

Purdue Day of Giving

The University is postponing Purdue Day of Giving 2020, which had been scheduled for April 29, in response to the global COVID-19 outbreak. We will share a future date as soon as it is determined.

Read the University’s press release, which includes information on ways to help.

February 2020


Due to technical issues with Purdue’s scholarship application website, the deadline for students to apply has been extended to March 15. Clubs that keep their scholarship funds with Purdue should refrain from promoting scholarships until we receive confirmation that the website is functioning properly. The Division of Financial Aid is working on resolving the issues at hand.

Club leaders can access more detailed information about scholarships in the resources portal.

Membership Campaign Results

The Purdue Alumni Association’s membership campaign in December exceeded all expectations, bringing in more than 205 new life members and raising $140,750 in one month.

During the campaign, life memberships were offered at discounted rates — 25% off the normal rate of $1,000, or $750. For recent grads (within the past five years) and seniors (65 and up), life memberships were 50% off the normal rate of $1,000, or $500. The memberships could be paid in full or on an abbreviated pay schedule.

The success of the campaign resulted from exhaustive research of peer institutions and the creation of a limited-time offer that leveraged the “fear of missing out” and offered a Purdue-branded fleece for those who paid in full. Life members get full access to PLUS level benefits, including the award-winning Purdue Alumnus magazine.

“We are looking at other opportunities to make similar offers available,” says Angelique Zobitz, senior director of marketing and analytics at Purdue Alumni, after the successful campaign.

Alumni Leader Profile: Sharon King

Sometimes, an employer can be instrumental in connecting alumni with their universities — in more ways than one.

For Sharon King (MS’06), that meant Whirlpool, a large employer in the rural area of southwestern Michigan.

King got involved in the Purdue Alumni Club of Southwest Michigan because of a former boss at Whirlpool, and the club’s vice president works at the maker of appliances. She then asked Maria Whipple, an assistant director of regional outreach at Purdue Alumni, how she could get more involved. King attended the Alumni Leaders Conference in 2019 a few months after she became club president in April.

King says ALC was beneficial to get more information from Purdue Alumni as well as network with other club leaders. Now she is trying to apply that experience to help the club diversify events and partner with other area clubs.

The club cosponsored an instructional, work-related webinar with Whirlpool that was open to the public and featured Drew B. Mallory (MS HHS’15, PhD HHS’17), an international speaker.

“We want to do more career-oriented events that will appeal to Purdue alumni in the area,” King says. “That might mean virtual or in-person opportunities.”

The club is also looking to expand its reach by partnering with nearby clubs or taking events to nearby cities, such as Benton Harbor or St. Joseph, Michigan.

“We want to do more events in new locations,” King says. “We cover a large region, and we want to bring in others from neighboring towns and make sure people who live in the area know about our activities.”

Member Benefits

Members at the PROFESSIONAL and CAREER MAX tiers receive a variety of great benefits, including the unique chance to take advantage of three highly beneficial learning opportunities at reduced rates.

Members at these tiers receive discounts off courses at Purdue University Global’s more than 120 programs online. At the PROFESSIONAL and CAREER MAX levels, members who live in Indiana receive 25% off tuition for undergraduate classes and certificates and 10% off tuition for graduate classes and certificates. Members at those levels who live outside Indiana receive a 20% tuition discount on undergraduate classes and certificates and a 10% tuition discount on graduate classes and certificates.

“This benefit for our alumni builds on our mission to provide greater access to affordable, high-quality education,” says Angelique Zobitz.

PROFESSIONAL and CAREER MAX members wanting to sharpen their project-management skills or become proficient in Six Sigma can sign up for courses at a discount. Offered in conjunction with Purdue Engineering Online, the project management courses prepare students to take the Project Management Professional test. Purdue alumni can also take any of three Six Sigma classes.

Tuition for the project management and Six Sigma courses is discounted 10% for members at both the PROFESSIONAL and CAREER MAX levels. And there may be more to come.

“We are currently working with two colleges — Krannert School of Management and Purdue Polytechnic Institute — to develop new courses,” says Martin Sickafoose, vice president of marketing and digital strategy for Purdue Alumni. “Stay tuned.”

Boilermaker Ball

Full Steam Ahead! With those three words, this year’s Boilermaker Ball will engage revelers with a steampunk theme that fuses a retro-tech of the industrialized 19th Century with the designs of the Victorian age.

For the 13th year in a row, Purdue alumni and friends will come together at this annual black-tie event on Saturday, February 29, from 5:30 p.m. to midnight at the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown. Boilermakers of all ages and backgrounds will be treated to dinner, entertainment, and a silent auction.

December 2019

Alumni Portal Update

The alumni portal has been upgraded with new and improved features as well as more enhancements coming. As a result, club leaders can now manage an even more customized digital experience for their regions, appealing to a wider variety of alumni and meeting the requirements for dues sharing.

Most of the 141 alumni clubs, networks, and affinity groups have used the portal, with more and more club leaders jumping on board. The portal allows clubs leaders to manage their clubs. They can plan, promote, and execute a variety of events; track attendance and engagement; and integrate membership marketing and email campaigns into club communications.

For alumni, the portal offers the ability to connect with peers; mentor alumni with similar careers; find relevant news and events; join clubs; search job openings posted by alumni business partners; and create communities based on where a member lives as well as personal and professional affinities.

“This tool gives alumni leaders the ability to have engagements in a quick, easy digital way, which especially appeals to millennials,” says Martin Sickafoose, vice president of digital marketing for Purdue Alumni. “This is a resource to make club leaders’ jobs easier.”

The portal is powered by Graduway, a company that has worked with hundreds of universities, alumni network, and other organizations to create digital communities. Graduway and the Purdue Alumni Association have created a dozen videos to help club leaders use the features.

The Alumni Portal can be found at


Leader Profile: Ashley Solgere

Like many club members, Ashley Solgere (LA’11) arrived in a new city — in this case, New York City — with no family or friends. So, she looked for ways to meet new people, and the local Purdue alumni club was one way to do that.

As time went on, Solgere got more involved in the club, joining the board in 2016 and, when the current president moved out of New York one year later, she asked Solgere to take over the reins of the club.

With its widespread geographic coverage, the club leans more heavily than most on game watches. But it recently mimicked an event the Washington, DC, chapter hosted on climate change, using members of Purdue’s Climate Change Research Center as panelists. More than 50 people attended the session, which focused on the science, policy, and politics of climate change.

“We want a mix of fun and intellectual events to appeal to as many people as possible,” Solgere says. “We often leverage people’s relationships to appeal to different interests, and replicating events from other chapters is one way to do that.”

The New York club also tries to promote any Purdue event on the East Coast, whether it be honoring a Purdue professor for a career accomplishment or traveling to sporting events, especially now that Rutgers and Maryland are in the Big Ten.

The club has collaborated with the Office of Admissions to help staff high school college fairs and even partnered with the Krannert Professional Development Center to promote industry networking among undergraduate and MBA students and alumni. Earlier this year, the club worked with other Big Ten schools to cohost a showing of a student athlete documentary on HBO.

“We try to incorporate ways to mingle in every event we hold,” Solgere adds, “and we want to continue leveraging university relationships for planning and hosting events.”



Clubs that keep their scholarship funds with Purdue and select their own recipients can think ahead now to generate applications.

Applicants have the first deadline, as listed in the chart below, and then clubs have decisions to make. Clubs should begin planning now to help students meet the March 1 application deadline.

  • March 1 — Application deadline for students
  • Mid-March — Clubs receive applications for review
  • April 15 — Award deadline for clubs; email award recipient names to your regional liaison

Once again this year, applicants will use a common online application to seek scholarships from clubs that maintain scholarship funds at Purdue and select their recipients. There is a new link to the scholarship application this year:

Each club’s specific scholarship awarding criteria remains the same. Only students who meet your club’s awarding criteria will be eligible to complete your club application. Purdue’s Division of Financial Aid will review all applications and only forward those that meet your club’s awarding criteria.

As a reminder, Gold and Silver clubs receive more money if they keep their scholarship accounts at Purdue ($1,000 vs. $600 for Gold, and $500 vs. $300 for Silver). Keeping scholarship accounts at Purdue allows donors to contribute online, earns more interest than a bank account and, ensures that the donations are tax deductible.

Club leaders can also access more detailed information in the portal.


Membership Campaign

Club leaders can take advantage of three Purdue Alumni Association initiatives to engage alumni and increase membership. The association is partnering with Publishing Concepts (PCI) to sell memberships, update the alumni directory, and develop an oral history project.

Through December 31, life memberships are back at discounted rates! Life memberships are 25% off the normal rate of $1,000, or $750. For recent grads (within the past five years) and seniors (65 and up), life memberships are 50% off at $500.

Payments can be made in a series of four installments over 12 months, or alumni can pay all at once. Life members get full access to PLUS level benefits, including the award-winning Purdue Alumnus magazine.

PCI is contacting alumni to update their contact information for the alumni directory and to solicit their stories for the oral history project. A small segment of alumni are being contacted now, with a second wave of calls to a much larger population beginning in the new year and ending June 30, 2020.


November 2019

Membership Benefits

Online networking is becoming increasingly popular and effective for many career-minded graduates, and Purdue Alumni offers cutting-edge opportunities for Boilermakers to connect online in several ways.

Using Brazen, a software that hosts online conversations among several people, Purdue Alumni conducts career-focused chats every month that alumni can join. Chats are focused by industry, grad year, college or school, or region.

Any chat can be divided into as many as nine booths that each cover a specific topic. Participants can enter as many booths as they like and often chat for up to eight minutes with other participants.

Organizations can also partner with Purdue Alumni to conduct specialized, targeted chats on topics related to their organizations.

PASE has used the tool to help board members become acquainted with one another, chatting in casually themed booths, such as “What is your favorite movie?” A group of graduate students is getting together virtually with graduate school alumni, chatting in booths set up by industries. Resource pages can be included to promote an organization and events.

“This could be a very useful tool for clubs,” says Maureen Huffer Landis, director of alumni career advancement. “Club leaders could hold a board or committee-oriented event and divide it into booths focusing on membership, finances, programming, or any other topic. Other great uses would be for “mix and mingle” events helping members get to know each other. I could even see multiple clubs in a region using this tool.”

Club leaders can contact Huffer Landis or their club liaison for further details or to schedule a chat. The chats are available to all alumni, not just Purdue Alumni members.

Boilermaker Pride Award Winners

The winners of this year’s Purdue Alumni Association Boilermaker Pride Awards embody the award’s intent. Both have held various leadership roles in their local clubs for decades, and both receive the most gratification from working earnestly on their club scholarship funds.

This year, Glenn Youngstedt (HHS’68, MS M’74) received the award as the out-of-state winner, and Bob Thorley (M’71) was honored as the in-state recipient at the celebration and awards luncheon at the end of the Alumni Leaders Conference. The Boilermaker Pride Award recognizes club leaders who have contributed time and service to the club and to the alumni association over a significant period of time.

Youngstedt was one of the charter members of the Purdue Alumni Club of Southwest Michigan 35 years ago and has been active since except for a six-year job transfer. He has served as president, scholarship chair, and a board member.

He is especially proud of his work building a sizable scholarship endowment. “It is really gratifying to see students get the help they need to attend Purdue,” Youngstedt says. “Not only that, but these students are really smart. I’m very impressed with their achievements.”

Thorley has been instrumental to the success of the Purdue Alumni Club of Clinton County for nearly 30 years, Similar to Youngstedt, he has served in various club roles, including president, vice president, and treasurer. He was also elected to the Purdue Alumni Association Board of Directors and held roles on the executive committee and as board chairman of finance.

The club does most of its scholarship fundraising in April during Purdue Day of Giving. Thorley tends to get hands on, soliciting businesses and individuals throughout the county in person. The club raises nearly all of the $8,000 it awards to eight students during Purdue Day of Giving.

“When we make personal contacts to businesses and families seeking donations for our scholarship program, we have found a greater inclination to contribute,” Thorley says. “Ultimately, I would hope our club could get individuals and families to include our scholarship fund in their estate planning.”

International Council of Purdue Women

The International Council of Purdue Women has made significant strides since its inception nearly two years ago.

Founded as a way to connect alumnae around the globe to share their skills, knowledge, and leadership, the group has now expanded beyond its initial vision. The women’s council has established a variety of career-focused and social programming that is engaging alumnae in different ways and helping to expand the network.

Arising from a meeting in Chicago in February 2018, the women’s council has three chapters in Chicago, Indianapolis, and West Lafayette and has recently launched in three more cities: Houston, San Francisco, and Washington, DC. More chapters are in the works.

One of the benefits of the regional chapters is that their events attract Purdue alumnae who had not previously been active.

“The majority of women who attended our chapter launch event were new to an alumni event,” says Natalie Shen (A’14), president of the Purdue Alumni Club of Washington, DC. “I never knew they were in the area. The women’s council attracts a different group of alumnae than other alumni events do.”

To keep everyone connected, the International Council of Purdue Women developed an e-newsletter that now has 1,100 subscribers and hosts an online book club that reads books on professional development, productivity, leadership, and other topics of interest to members.

The women’s council is coming up to its signature event — the 2020 Women’s Conference. Planned for April 30 and May 1 in Indianapolis, the conference will feature renowned speakers and thought-provoking discussion on a variety of topics.

The women’s council is expected to continue to develop new programming and features for the 250,000 Purdue alumnae. All women who are Purdue Alumni Association members are automatically members of the International Council of Purdue Women as well.

New Regional Liaisons

Alumni clubs will be even better served now that Purdue Alumni has hired two new regional liaisons. Both are Purdue graduates and have been living in Indiana.

Kelli Cornelius (HHS’05) will be the liaison for Indiana clubs, and Sharetha Marshall (HHS’02) will serve alumni clubs on the East Coast.

After graduating from Purdue, Cornelius was a field representative for the Indiana Blood Center. She most recently was director of events for Greater Lafayette Commerce. She will soon be a double graduate from Purdue, as she is pursuing her master’s degree in psychology.

Marshall comes to Purdue with education and events experience. She spent nearly four years as assistant director of academic advising for Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana and three years at Western Governors University. Marshall holds a master’s degree in business management from Indiana Wesleyan University.

The two new liaisons join the two other liaisons who serve other parts of the country:

  1. Maria Whipple — West and Midwest (including Chicagoland)
  2. Natalie Evans — South

September 2019

Purdue Day of Giving Club Challenge Results

Purdue alumni clubs raised more than $58,000 for their scholarships during the sixth annual Purdue Day of Giving in April. More than 475 alumni stepped up with 615 gifts as part of the philanthropic effort in which students, alumni, faculty, staff, parents, and friends demonstrated their generosity and loyalty for 24 hours by donating and working to raise money.

Purdue Alumni offered an additional donation to the scholarship accounts of the top two clubs in two categories: most money raised and most number of gifts received. The first place club in each category will receive $2,500, and the second place club in each category will receive $1,000.

This year, Chicago led the fundraising by securing $8,671 in donations, and Southwest Florida ranked second with $7,935. Clinton County was first in the number of gifts with 131, and Cleveland was the runner-up with 84.

Overall, the University raised nearly $40.6 million from more than 21,000 gifts. Purdue Alumni ranked fourth in terms of campus organizations with the most gifts.

View more details on the Purdue Day of Giving website


It’s been a yearlong celebration of 150 years of Purdue University, and now it is nearing an exciting and event-filled finale.

The sesquicentennial kicked off at Homecoming in October 2018, and the celebration continues through Homecoming 2019, when the Boilermakers play the University of Maryland on October 12.

Over the next month, some exciting events will take place. An astronaut reunion will be held during Homecoming, and luminaries, such as 66th secretary of state Condoleezza Rice, will continue to contribute to the Ideas Festival. Several colleges are planning their own events, including Veterinary Medicine, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary.

Part of the effort to raise awareness of the University and its sesquicentennial involves getting as many Purdue alumni as possible to display Purdue flags. Purdue Alumni sent flags to clubs hosting fall events and encouraged members to take pictures. Keep those photos coming!

Clubs hosted a series of alumni dinner meetings around the world commemorating Founder’s Day on May 6, which was exactly 150 years after the day that John Purdue officially founded the University.


The Purdue Alumni Recruiting for Tomorrow (PART) program was introduced in 1995 to involve alumni in recruiting new Boilermakers. PART volunteers have represented Purdue at more than 160 college fairs around the country. PART volunteers have also piloted new programs, including inviting new students to local Purdue Alumni Association events and calling local students to tell them about their Purdue experiences. The mission is simple: to assist Purdue University in recruiting qualified, high-ability students. In building the freshman classes of tomorrow, alumni can play a vital role in critical activities at each step.

Clubs can benefit from this opportunity in two ways:

  • Participating in the program can count toward certain club recognition goals, such as engagement
  • Clubs can talk to prospective students about their scholarships.

The interactions also expose potential students to the strong Boilermaker alumni network, making them familiar with clubs and paving the way to become members after graduation. Purdue Alumni will continue to work with the Office of Admissions to coordinate this exciting program.

Learn more and volunteer

Purdue for Life Foundation

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.