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“The history of Purdue University is the story of people. They aren’t flat and lifeless, one-dimensional figures staring at us from paintings and black-and-white photographs. They are people who lived and breathed, laughed and cried. They succeeded and they failed, and to understand what they did for Purdue and why requires knowing them as friends, not historical data.”

— John Norberg, author of Ever True: 150 Years of Giant Leaps at Purdue University

 

 

Celebrations of Purdue’s 150th are long underway, ranging from a formidable line-up of speakers, to the unveiling of a new Purdue-themed ice cream flavor.

On May 6, Purdue University Press will be joining in the sesquicentennial celebration with the release of two new history books, each with their own look at Purdue’s first 150 years. Ever True: 150 Years of Giant Leaps at Purdue University by John Norberg, and Purdue at 150: A Visual History of Student Life by David M. Hovde, Adriana Harmeyer, Neal Harmeyer, and Sammie L. Morris.

In Ever True, Norberg deftly covers 150 years of Purdue history, a task he equates to trying to fill a thimble with water pouring out of a fire hydrant. The book is filled with stories of the faculty, alumni, and leaders that make up our institution’s distinguished history.

“Today we see people from history in black-and-white photos staring blankly at us. But the people who formed our history were real people who got out of bed still tired and went to work and had good days and bad days, just like all of us today,” Norberg said in a recent interview in the Journal & Courier,  “I hope people who read this book get to know these folks from our past like friends.”

The book also features over 40 profiles of prominent Boilermakers who have taken “Giant Leaps”, celebrating the effect Purdue Alumni have on the world.

For Purdue at 150, a team of Purdue archivists pored over decades of student papers, from scrapbooks, yearbooks, letters, and newspapers, to historical photographs and memorabilia, all of which are preserved in the Purdue University Libraries Virginia Kelly Karnes Archives and Special Collections. The result is a stunning pictorial history of Purdue, with many artifacts and images that are being published for the first time. The book is divided into decades, giving you relevant insight into many different eras of student life.

In the foreword of the book, Purdue alumni Drew and Brittany Brees say “Purdue at 150 is the definitive visual history of student life at our beloved alma mater, whether you are a long-time alum or a recent graduate, we know you will enjoy the trip down memory lane.”

Whether you’re a Purdue student, alumni, or a fan, each book provides a unique opportunity to look into the history of Purdue, and make a perfect way to celebrate Purdue’s 150th.

On Founder’s Day, May 6, we’ll be having a special sale, make sure to keep an eye on our social media, newsletter, and this blog to so you don’t miss it!