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Purdue Ag Dean Thrilled with Landmark Gift

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Purdue Ag receives largest gift

Sometime in the future Purdue University’s College of Agriculture will reap the benefits of the largest donation by individuals in university history. The school announced the anonymous estate gift Monday and if it went in the bank today the value would be $65 million.

Jay Akridge, the Glenn W. Sample Dean of Agriculture, told HAT it was a very good Monday and those at the College of Ag are thrilled.

“That word doesn’t do it justice. A gift this large is truly something that’s transformational and we couldn’t be more excited that these donors have chosen to make an investment of that magnitude in the college.”

The anonymous donors are giving the college great flexibility with this gift.

“The gift will be a bequest and so it’s going to be many years before we see this but the donors understand that this is coming down the road when we really don’t know what the priorities will be at some future point, and so the gift is unrestricted. The donors have placed no restrictions on how the money is to be used, simply for the benefit of the college. So that allows whoever the leadership of the college is at that future date to decide based on those conditions where these monies need to be invested. It’s the best possible situation because no one’s hands are tied around something that perhaps just doesn’t fit the time.”

And the timing of the gift will play a key role in the use of the funds, but Akridge says sizable gifts are used in a multitude of ways.

“Certainly support for faculty through chairs is one of the ways these monies get used. Certainly facilities in some cases can be the way monies are used, and very, very importantly, scholarships and support for student programming is another way.”

Listen to the full HAT interview:Dean Akridge on 65 Million gift

Purdue release:

$65 Million Committed to Purdue Ag is University’s Largest Gift

The Purdue University College of Agriculture has received an anonymous estate gift valued at $65 million in today’s dollars, the largest donation from individuals in the university’s history.

“This gift is a tremendous vote of confidence for all of Purdue and our College of Agriculture,” Purdue President Mitch Daniels said. “Their generosity will enhance Purdue Agriculture’s ability to educate future generations of food and agricultural leaders and scientists, make the discoveries that improve and save lives, and ensure those discoveries make it into the hands of the people who need them.”

Jay Akridge, Glenn W. Sample Dean of Agriculture, said, “This is truly a transformational gift, which will dramatically enhance our ability to make a difference for the people of Indiana, our country and the world.”

Akridge said the donors want to remain anonymous and provided the college flexibility in how it will use the money.

“Their wishes are that this future funding be used in the best possible way to build on Purdue Agriculture’s tradition of excellence and to ensure that we enhance that excellence in all we do going forward,” he said.

“This donor will make an incredible investment in Purdue Agriculture because they believe in our ability, both today and in the future, to deliver on a research, education and Extension mission that addresses our most pressing real-world problems with real-world solutions.”

Lisa Calvert, Purdue vice president for development, said the gift also was an endorsement in the leadership of the university. “The donors made the gift in support of Mitch Daniels in his new role as president,” she said. “Since the announcement of a new administration in June, there has been an increase in broad base support, including the total number of donors and dollars raised, resulting in a new energy in philanthropy.”

Purdue officials also announced that $22 million in gifts and university matching funds has created 13 new endowed professorships as part of the Faculty Excellence Challenge Match launched last year. The professorships are vital to recruiting and retaining top faculty.

Purdue Agriculture, home to two World Food Prize laureates since 2007, is internationally known for strong academic, research and Extension programs that are at the forefront of sustainable and dynamic agricultural, food and natural resource innovations.

Source: Purdue Ag Communications