2018 LPCMGA Scholarship Recipient
Contributed by Ann Klosinski
150 YEARS OF GIANTLEAPS
By Ann Klosinski
The 2018 Purdue College of Agriculture Scholarship Dinner was held on Friday, September 14th, 2018 at the Purdue Memorial Ballroom in West Lafayette. Ann Klosinski and Eunice Conway joined the recipient of the La Porte County Master Gardener Scholarship, Nick Francesconi, who is in his senior year in the School of Landscape Architecture. This is the third year he has been chosen: 2015, 2016 & 2018. In 2017 he served a yearlong internship with a company in Atlanta, GA. After graduating in 2019, he will be seeking employment in his field in or around the Chicago area for a couple of years and then plans on continuing his education to earn his MBA. Nick, a La Porte County resident, has joined us at past Master Gardener Spring Garden Shows promoting Purdue University and plans on being with us again at the 2019 show. Nick is an outstanding young man and very deserving. We were so impressed with all of the students we met at the dinner.
After a tasty steak dinner followed by a decadent dessert of chocolate cake there was a short program featuring speakers who highlighted some statistics. There were almost 400 students and scholarship sponsors in attendance. In 2018 $2,500,000. in scholarships were awarded to students in the College of Agriculture, $500,000. more than in 2017. This year the school has 2,800 students, the most since the 1980’s, 75% of them being from Indiana. As of May 2018, enrollment numbers at Purdue’s College of Agriculture ranks them 6th in the USA and 9th in the world. Reference the 2017 article:
This is the 150th anniversary of the founding of Purdue University, the theme being “150 YEARS OF GIANTLEAPS”, taken from the accomplishments of former student and astronaut Neal Armstrong. Marcos Fernandez, Associate Dean and Director of Academic Programs, delivered a keynote presentation on the founding father of Purdue University, John Purdue. John is the only individual that a Big 10 school is named after. He was born in 1802, one of nine children. After being involved in teaching,farming, and business in Ohio he moved to Lafayette in 1834, where he had bought 240 acres in Tippecanoe County. There he continued to be involved in business interests, land holdings, railroads among many other ventures. “By 1869, Indiana had received funding through the Morrill Act to establish a land-grant college providing instruction in agriculture, mechanical arts, and military science. Although several cities had expressed interest in hosting the school, the process was still stalled, and no college had materialized. Purdue first offered $100,000, then $150,000, to the state, as well as one hundred acres of land that he had purchased on the west bank of the Wabash River for the establishment of the college. His only the stipulations were that the college bear his name and that he be awarded a lifelong seat on the board of directors. With the help of Senator John Stein, the Indiana Legislature approved the establishment of Purdue University.”
For expanded information please reference the following links:
The drive to and from Lafayette gave Eunice and I the opportunity to visit with each other. Purdue is her Alma Mater, having graduated from the School of Pharmacy. She noticed some of the changes since she attended there: when she graduated she was among the few female students in her school. Now it is the opposite….the majority of graduating Pharmacists are women. Back then there was only one pub and now there are many places for students to enjoy some leisure time. We noticed the construction and expansion going on all around campus….a certain sign that Purdue is thriving.
Seeing the positive impact that being involved in higher education has on these impressive young students, the La Porte County Master Gardener Association continuing to award this scholarship is well worth our efforts.