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Purdue celebrates Black History Month

Purdue is committed to celebrating Black excellence with stories about the giant leaps made by Purdue’s outstanding Black students, alumni, faculty and staff. We honor the individuals from our Boilermaker history who have made significant impact on our university, and those who are continuing to do so. As part of Black History Month and beyond, we commemorate those who helped make Purdue University the outstanding institution of higher learning it is today.

Purdue University
Black Cultural Center 

A vibrant element of university life, the Purdue Black Cultural Center offers a wealth of programs and services for the entire campus community. The BCC brings together the diversity of the Purdue family by nurturing and presenting the rich heritage of the African American experience through art, history and cultural understanding.

Explore the Stories

Shye Robinson in Washington, D.C.

Encouraging progress in policies and programs

What motivates the president of Purdue Student Government? “Giving back is my priority,” Shye Robinson says.


Podcast Ep. 95: Football Legend Leroy Keyes’ Wife, Monica, on Earning Her Master’s Degree at Purdue, Raising Their Family in the Boilermaker Community and Her Husband’s Legacy

In this episode of “This Is Purdue,” we’re talking to Monica Keyes, wife of the late Purdue icon and former Boilermaker football player and coach Leroy Keyes.  Turns out, the couple met in a church bowling league in Philadelphia, Monica’s …

Coach Ryan Walters

Podcast Ep. 90: Coach Ryan Walters and the New Era of Purdue Football

In this episode of “This Is Purdue,” we’re talking to our new Purdue University head football coach, Ryan Walters. Listen as Coach Walters describes how he felt when he got the call from Purdue Athletics Director Mike Bobinski and what …

Justin Scott

DSS special agent Justin Scott: From Purdue to the U.S. Department of State

Justin Scott’s globe-spanning career packs more action in a day than seems possible.

Purdue sophomore running back Devin Mockobee

Devin Mockobee’s running start 

Devin Mockobee has a blue-collar mentality and work ethic that is endearing and relatable to Purdue’s fan base.

Stephen McKinley Henderson

Podcast Ep. 88: ‘Dune’ Star, Tony Nominee Stephen McKinley Henderson Reflects on Purdue Theatre Education

In this episode of “This Is Purdue,” we’re talking to Tony-nominated actor and “Dune” star Stephen McKinley Henderson (MA theatre ’77).

Doriane Sossou smiles at the camera, standing in a lab with metal machinery behind her.

A Vision of a More Food-Secure World

While growing up in Benin in western Africa, Doriane Sossou saw how food insecurity affected those around her.


Podcast Ep. 84 – Deputy Athletics Director Tiffini Grimes Discusses the Spirit of Purdue Athletics and Proud Return to Her Alma Mater

In this episode of “This Is Purdue,” we’re talking to Tiffini Grimes (BA political science ’05), Purdue University’s deputy athletics director and senior woman administrator.  This Boilermaker alumna highlights her journey in collegiate athletics as she made her way from …

Stephen McKinley Henderson

Tony nominee Stephen McKinley Henderson on his journey to the top

Henderson was introduced to the stage when an aunt put him and his brother on a tour of local churches.

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When Frieda and Winifred Parker enrolled at Purdue in 1946, they could not live on campus. The two sisters and their family spearheaded a campaign that led Purdue to integrate university housing in 1947. In October 2021, Purdue dedicated the Frieda and Winifred Parker Residence Halls to honor their commitment to the fight for equity and access in education.

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Learn more about Black history at Purdue, including early pioneers and key events that helped shape the university’s future, through this Purdue Archives and Special Collections timeline.

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