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Córdova marks second anniversary as Purdue president

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — France A. Córdova celebrates her second anniversary as president of Purdue University today (July 16).

Over the past year, Córdova has focused on implementation of Purdue’s strategic plan, “New Synergies,” which lays out goals of launching tomorrow’s leaders, promoting both research and its commercialization, and meeting global challenges.

France A. Cordova will mark her second anniversary as president of Purdue University on Thursday (July 16) with a gathering on the Purdue Mall.  Purdue faculty, staff and students are invited for lemonade, cookies and a chance to chat with Cordova from 3:30p-5p on the mall, in front of Hovde Hall.

France A. Cordova will mark her second anniversary as president of Purdue University on Thursday (July 16) with a gathering on the Purdue Mall. Purdue faculty, staff and students are invited for lemonade, cookies and a chance to chat with Cordova from 3:30p-5p on the mall, in front of Hovde Hall.

“As I finish my second year here at Purdue, one of the accomplishments I am most proud of is progress we’ve made on the ‘New Synergies’ strategic plan. This plan combines the exemplary and diverse ideas of our campus community and stakeholders, and will help position Purdue among the top-ranked research universities in the world,” Córdova said. “Our students are the beneficiaries as we turn the concepts of the plan into reality. I appreciate all of the wonderful efforts that have been made so far by our faculty and staff, and I encourage others to get involved in our exciting future.”

The Access & Success campaign, launched in spring 2008, ensures that students have access to a Purdue education and the support to succeed once they arrive on campus. To date, more than $100 million has been raised for programs and scholarships. The first scholarships were awarded in the fall 2008 semester.

Recipients of the Trustees and Presidential scholarships that were created as a part of the campaign have received a total of $10.7 million. In April Córdova announced the Purdue Marquis Scholarship Program, which will help Indiana students who are in the top half of their class, who qualify for minimal or no state and federal aid, and whose families earn between $40,000 and $100,000 annually. Selected Indiana students will be funded at $2,000 per year, starting with the 2009-10 freshman class.

The academic characteristics of Purdue’s 2009 freshman applicant pool surpassed that of the previous year. This year’s freshman applicants averaged a 22-point SAT score increase on the 2400-point scale and a 16-point increase on the critical reading and math 1600-point scale. The students’ average class rank has increased by three percentage points. This year’s admitted student group includes Chelsea Arthur of New Carlisle, Ind., named Indiana’s Top Young Scientist.

To help ensure that students succeed academically once at Purdue, beginning in fall 2011 the university will require incoming students to have completed four years of high school math. Studies show that high school students who take senior-level math increase their odds of completing a bachelor’s degree by 73 percent.

Purdue also has continued its efforts to drive economic development in Indiana. Purdue and Indiana University will jointly lead the Indiana Innovation Alliance, a broad-based research alliance that will help the state grow its bio- and life-sciences industries, improve public health, and increase the number of physicians being trained in Indiana. The alliance will bring together a wide spectrum of businesses, government and universities to share research facilities and other resources to expand the state’s capacity to support new and existing companies in the biology and health-related fields. The Indiana General Assembly authorized $20 million for the project over the 2009-11 biennium.

Purdue recently received $20 million in bonding authority from the Indiana General Assembly for a new drug discovery facility that will serve to keep Purdue and the state at the forefront of pharmaceutical research and drug discovery.

Meanwhile, Purdue Research Park continues to spur economic growth in Indiana’s high-tech sector and now includes parks in West Lafayette, Indianapolis, Merrillville and New Albany. Purdue Research Park at AmeriPlex-Indianapolis, which opened in January, will accommodate up to 75 businesses and create 1,500 jobs, mostly in life sciences and high-tech areas.

Two new buildings opened in West Lafayette, the 80,000-square-foot Innovation Center that houses a national software solution center for EDS, an HP company, and the 105,000-square-foot Herman and Heddy Kurz Purdue Technology Center.

On a global scale, Córdova unveiled plans for Purdue’s Global Public Policy Institute earlier this month. The institute will cultivate solid, evidence-based research for policy-makers, help to create synergies between researchers across disciplinary lines in order to address global challenges, and benefit students through internships and degrees in public policy.

Córdova also extended Purdue’s partnership with Cummins Inc. and Cummins College of Engineering for Women during a 10-day trip to India and Hong Kong.

“It’s been an exciting year here at Purdue, and this is just the beginning,” Córdova said.

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