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R.B. Stewart Logo The R.B. Stewart Society recognizes special benefactors who make a commitment to the future of our University in their estate plan—regardless of the amount. Thank you to all our society members for demonstrating your commitment to the future and lasting success of Purdue.

Membership is extended on a confidential basis to alumni and friends who have made a commitment to the future of Purdue through their estate plans or with life income gift arrangements. Your name will be used only with your permission, and you can be a member while remaining anonymous. If you have made a planned gift but have not yet received an invitation to join the R.B. Stewart Society, please complete our membership form.

Qualifying gifts include:

  • Bequest in a will or revocable trust
  • Charitable remainder trust or charitable gift annuity
  • Charitable lead trust
  • Whole or partial beneficiary of an IRA, qualified retirement fund, or pension plan
  • Life insurance policy
  • Remainder interest in a personal residence or farm

A written confirmation of intent is needed for inclusion in the R.B. Stewart Society. This could be a signed statement of support, a copy of the will or trust documents, a letter or email from the donor, or a completed membership form. Purdue recognizes that revocable gift plans could change. The written confirmation outlines your intent and is not a binding document. Our society provides recognition for your intention to support our University.

Membership benefits

As a thank you for their sustaining support, R.B. Stewart Society members enjoy special benefits including:

  • Letter of recognition and membership certificate
  • Recognition for your estate gift in the President’s Council
  • Exclusive invitation to annual society event
  • Society’s annual newsletter
  • Valuable financial and estate planning resources

Our namesake

Purdue is the beneficiary of the drive of a man who couldn’t stop building.

R.B. Stewart arrived at Purdue as controller in 1925. At that time, Purdue enrolled 3,000 students, the physical plant was worth $3 million, and the endowment totaled $340,000. Twenty years later, Stewart was still at it and was named vice president and treasurer. When he retired in 1961, enrollment had grown to 22,000, the physical plant was valued at $160 million, and yields from the $25 million endowment were producing funds for research, scholarships, and grants.

Stewart’s pioneering ways of financing expansion through trust gifts and interest-free bonds enabled Purdue to grow, and our University became the benchmark for every university in the country. In 1971, Stewart made a planned gift to Purdue by donating his home, Westwood. It has served as the home of Purdue’s president ever since.


Contact the Office of Planned Giving at 765-494-8657 or

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.