The Hoffman family is passionate about Purdue. Mike is a 1981 College of Science graduate, and his wife Cindy is a proud Purdue parent and Boilermaker fan. Their two children, Kara and Christopher, both met their spouses while studying in West Lafayette and all four are now Purdue graduates. The couple also has three granddaughters, with a fourth on the way, who they lovingly refer to as potential future Boilermakers. Mike and Cindy have loved taking their kids and now their grandchildren to enjoy Purdue sporting events and activities on campus. Their granddaughters are especially big fans of walking the campus and spotting as many “foodbots” as they can!
Mike was raised by a single mother, Connie, who had three boys and worked selflessly to help her children accomplish their goals. She was a huge inspiration for Mike and encouraged him to follow his dreams and take his education seriously. While Mike was a student at Purdue, he was an active member of the Reamer Club and says that he loved “being around all these other students who cared about the same things that I did — science, technology and the world around us.” He credits his time at Purdue with preparing him for his future career as a meteorologist, both academically and through his extracurriculars. His education helped him learn the science of meteorology and his activities outside the classroom helped him gain confidence, especially with public speaking.
Mike took the skills he developed at Purdue and applied them to his 40-year career working in meteorology. Mike started his career doing weather forecasts on the radio for Accu-Weather, before moving back to the Midwest to begin his television career. He worked at a few different stations, in Indiana and Michigan, before their family settled in South Bend, where he served as the Chief Meteorologist at WNDU for 27 years before his retirement in 2021.
Mike and Cindy wanted to do something to “help future students experience learning opportunities outside the classroom, especially those who might need some assistance to keep the cost from being a burden” and Mike’s mother was a huge inspiration. They included Purdue in their estate plan and set up an endowment to help families who may struggle to fund critical experiences outside of the classroom that are not covered by financial aid. Cindy and Mike say that one of the things they love about Purdue is that “It doesn’t matter if you come from money, and it doesn’t matter who your parents are, everyone can get a world class education at Purdue University.”
Now that they are retired, they have come back to West Lafayette so they can give back to Purdue and invest themselves into the community. Mike and Cindy built a home in Provenance and Mike has taken on a part-time role with the College of Science, driving the Science Express van to area high schools around the state. The couple is excited to be so close to campus and look forward to participating in more on-campus events, such as lectures, theatre performances, and festivals.