Could Vermont Senator Justin Morrill ever conceive of the Land Grant University we call Purdue? In 1865 Indiana’s legislature voted to take advantage of the public land for colleges to teach agriculture and mechanical arts and in 1869, accepted John Purdue’s donation of land and money for Purdue University. The first class was composed of 39 students taught by 6 instructors. From a treeless farm field with 6 buildings Purdue has developed into a world class university with 163 major buildings on nearly 2,500 acres in West Lafayette. Today Purdue’s student enrollment is more than 70,000 students throughout the state of Indiana with nearly 40,000 of them located in West Lafayette.
Purdue’s yearbook, The Debris, was first published in 1887 and the campus newspaper, The Exponent, was established in 1889.