Purdue University is a public land-grant research university in West Lafayette, Indiana, and the flagship campus of the Purdue University system. The university was founded in 1869 after Lafayette businessman John Purdue donated land and money to establish a college of science, technology, and agriculture in his name. The first classes were held on September 16, 1874, with six instructors and 39 students. It has been ranked as among the best public universities in the United States by major institutional rankings, and is renowned for its engineering program.
The main campus in West Lafayette offers more than 200 majors for undergraduates, over 70 masters and doctoral programs, and professional degrees in pharmacy, veterinary medicine, and doctor of nursing practice. In addition, Purdue has 18 intercollegiate sports teams and more than 900 student organizations. Purdue is the founding member of the Big Ten Conference and enrolls the largest student body of any individual university campus in Indiana, as well as the ninth-largest foreign student population of any university in the United States.
Purdue University is a member of the Association of American Universities and is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”. Purdue faculty, students, alumni and other affiliates have reached many notable and influential positions in business, media, politics, and science. Purdue has been affiliated with 13 Nobel laureates, 1 Turing Award laureate, 2 World Food Prize laureates, 3 Pulitzer Prize winners, 18 Olympic medalists, 3 National Medal of Technology and Innovation recipients, 2 National Medal of Science recipients, 3 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients, 7 members of Congress, 3 U.S. governors, and 2 heads of state. Purdue has over 400,000 living alumni. Its alumni have included 26 astronauts, 6 current Fortune 500 CEOs, 2 Rhodes Scholars, 4 Truman Scholars and 3 Gates Scholars.