Purdue Libraries and School of Information Studies News

From the Archives: The Tuba Player

September 10th, 2017

It’s football season, which means it’s band season. The “All-American” Marching Band has been a Purdue tradition since the 1880s and has seen thousands of proud Boilermakers join its ranks. This young member of the band went on to become one of Purdue’s most recognizable graduates, but can you identify him before he was famous? Share your theories in the comments and check back on Friday for the full story!


Our mystery tuba player is Purdue class of 1928 graduate Orville Redenbacher, best known for revolutionizing the popcorn industry.  Redenbacher was a very active student, part of Alpha Gamma Rho, Agricultural Society, Agricultural Editor Society, Press Club, Band, Union Work, Class Track, Class Cross Country, Debris Yearbook Editor, and Exponent Editor.

Redenbacher didn’t slow down after graduation.  He worked in various agriculture-related positions across the state of Indiana until 1951, when he turned his full focus to the perfect popping corn.  Orville Redenbacher Popcorn launched in 1970 with its namesake front and center in all advertising.  The Purdue grad has been a recognizable face ever since!

Purdue Archives and Special Collections houses Redenbacher’s papers, including a selection of his personalized bow ties, donated by his grandson Kevin Fish.

Please join us again on September 25 for our next From the Archives post.