Welcome to 50 Years and Counting
As students, faculty, and staff return from vacation, I want to take a moment to welcome you back to campus to the next 50 years of the College of Technology at Purdue University.
I hope your summer breaks were both refreshing and productive. Many returning students extended their Purdue practical education over the summer with real-world learning in internships around Indiana and around the world. Many returning faculty worked vigorously on important and practical research projects at the University and with companies and organizations that are household names.
I want to extend a special welcome to our first-year students. The transition from living at home to living on campus and the freedom and challenge of keeping up with a busy class schedule and new routine can be a challenge both intellectually and emotionally. All of us in Purdue Technology want to welcome you to campus. Know that we are here to support you and to make your years at Purdue challenging, enriching, and educational. Should there be times when it would be helpful to talk to someone about the challenges of adjusting to college life, know that the departments, college, and the University have many people standing by to work with you on this important transition.
The Next 50 Years
As the first days of class begin, my reflections and thoughts turn back the clock. Just 50 years ago, our college was started to help reinvigorate the practical mission of this great land grant university and to educate young men and women for challenging technology-oriented careers. Ever since, the college has impacted those young people, provided terrific employees and leaders for many organizations, and provided the technical knowledge, know-how and entrepreneurial spirit to help make Indiana the vibrant state it is.
Three Thoughts for the Next 50
As we set out on in this special year, I’d like to share three thoughts with you:
- The Purdue College of Technology has a special tradition.
- The times are changing and challenging.
- We have been called on to face the future squarely.
A special tradition. This college has a special tradition of practical, industry focused, hands-on education, and everything we do will build on that tradition.
Challenges and change. Information technology, widespread entrepreneurship, and the quality movement have brought us to a point in history when university education must adapt, and it is easier to do what we already know how to do then to do what needs to be done.
Facing the future squarely. President Daniels has called on Purdue University to adapt to these challenges and changes in the program of Purdue Moves, and he has called on the College of Technology to lead the charge in piloting new models of hands-on and practical education. Elsewhere I have written (here) and presented (here) about the Purdue Polytechnic Initiative. This year a pilot is being run in the Polytechnic with 35 first-year students. Over the coming years we hope to learn from these early steps and spread that learning throughout the college, the University, and with others around the world.
Wishes for One Great Year
As we move forward this year, I hope you’ll keep these three thoughts in mind. We are poised for important progress and learning and one great year. I appreciate the trust all of our hardworking staff, faculty, and students have put in the college by working here together.
I wish all of you a productive year, one full of learning and growth.