Graphic. AgriculturesAgriculturesGraphic. Purdue University.

Winter 2002

Image: Vic Lechtenberg

Vic Lechtenberg, Dean of Agriculture

Giving to Purdue: Public support for a private university
By Victor L. Lechtenberg, Dean of Agriculture

There is a perception that public universities like Purdue receive most of their funding from state revenue. The reality is, however, that these universities are state assisted rather than state supported. State appropriations provide only 27 percent of Purdue's budget; the remainder comes from other funding sources, including philanthropic gifts from individuals, corporations and foundations.

One example of how public and private support go hand in hand is Purdue's Food Science Building, which was built in 1998. While the building itself was publicly funded, corporate donations provided much of the equipment for its research and teaching labs, state-of-the-art pilot plant and computer-integrated manufacturing lab.

Private support also is making possible the renovation of the David C. Pfendler Hall of Agriculture, the second-oldest building on campus and the original Agricultural Hall. The renovation will not only save the 100-year-old landmark but provide much-needed laboratory space. More than $2 million of the cost will come from private gifts to Purdue Agriculture.

Last fall, Purdue announced several multi-million-dollar gifts, including a $21 million bequest of timberland and patents for two insecticides. While gifts of this magnitude garner a lot of attention, there are hundreds of smaller gifts that help sustain our programs year in and year out.

Many of these small gifts go toward establishing an essential type of support--endowments. Purdue Agriculture has a number of endowments, many in the form of academic scholarships. Last year, Purdue Agriculture awarded more than $1 million in scholarship aid to students.

Although the minimum to establish an endowment is $20,000, gifts can be combined to reach this amount. One great example of this is the Livestock Judging Team Endowment. A few years ago, a group of judging team alumni, in appreciation for their experience, contacted other team alumni and raised $100,000 to establish an endowment to support the program.

Our fundraising goals for the future include continued aid for students--merit scholarships for undergraduates and fellowships for graduate students--and funds for attracting and keeping top researchers and teachers among our faculty.

Purdue Agriculture students, faculty, programs and facilities are among the many beneficiaries when private support helps sustain our public university. And we thank those whose generous gifts make this possible.

Victor L. Lechtenberg
Dean of Agriculture


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