Everyone wants to leave an outstanding legacy wherever they go. For me, I hope to leave my legacy here at Purdue. Maybe I won’t be recognized as a Purdue Alum until after I accomplish something great in the future, if I even do, but I want to be remembered. Remembered for admirable qualities and laudable characteristics. Remembered for always sticking to my beliefs all while enjoying everything college had to offer.
Leaving my own legacy got me thinking about Purdue alumni. Not those famous alumni like Neil Armstrong or Drew Brees, but those alumni who’ve accomplished great feats yet never get the recognition they deserve. So I began to research. I came across multiple articles mentioning fellow Boilermakers who I didn’t even know walked the same college campus as myself.
In an article posted on The Odyssey, it was brought to my attention that Eric Dill lead singer and guitarist of the ever-favorite band The Click Five went to Purdue. An Indiana native himself, Eric grew up in Indianapolis and graduated from Purdue with a degree in Industrial Technology. Maybe you’ll recognize Eric in his 2005 hit “Just the Girl“. Who would have thought one of our favorite bands from the early 2000s had a Purdue connection? That same article goes on to mention that Jim Gaffigan, the comic genius himself, attended Purdue University. Gaffigan who’s known for his stand up comedy, appearances on Comedy Central and hit TV show The Jim Gaffigan Show (which his wife also stars in), was a member of the Phi Gamma Delta Fraternity during his time at Purdue. And if you didn’t know, that means Gaffigan is an honorary fraternity brother with current Purdue President Mitch Daniels. (There’s a fun fact for you.)
The Purdue Exponent posted a great article back in 2013 taking a deeper look at famous people who have a connection to the university. Looking back on our childhood cartoon favorites like “The Power Puff Girls”, “SpongeBob” and even “Hey Arnold”, there’s a connection that they all have to Purdue University. Cartoonist Mark O’Hare, who was a writer and storyboard artist, was an animator for the shows mentioned above. O’Hare was accepted into Purdue University with an interest in studying aeronautical engineering, however by his sophomore year of college he switched majors to graphic designing. See even famous people switched their majors as undergrads and changed their career paths. Or what about Don Thompson, CEO of McDonald’s? Yep you guessed it, a Purdue alum. Thompson graduated from Purdue with a degree in electrical engineering. In 1990 he joined the McDonald’s corporation as an engineer and worked his way up to President and CEO of the corporation. If there’s anything Purdue students love its McDonald’s on State Street.
Maybe after graduation I won’t accomplish something unbelievable like the four fellow Boilermakers mentioned above, but that doesn’t mean I can’t leave a legacy of my own here at Purdue. No matter the achievements that we all fulfill in the future, being a Boilermaker in and of itself is one great triumph that we all endured together. I guess time will tell about the reputations that each of us will leave behind.