Students take part in the Greatest Spectacle in College Racing

Written by: Kendell Combs, Agribusiness, Class of 2019

Grand Prix is a Purdue tradition that was born in 1958 and has grown into a successful and well-run organization that concentrates its fundraising efforts to provide scholarships to students. Over the years, it has become a tradition of its own to have AGEC students as part of the Grand Prix Foundation. This year was no exception. Austin Hubbell, Brooke Schafer, Thomas Letsinger, and Jarrett Burroughs all held leadership roles on through the Grand Prix Senior Board.

Austin Hubbell (Senior; Agribusiness Marketing; Lewisville, IN) is the Director of Business and oversees all financial obligations for the organization. He is the liaison between the foundation and the business office for student organizations working with them to make sure all financial obligations are met. “After talking with some influential mentors, they told me that this would be an opportunity that would be good for you. With no karting background I found myself learning the organizational side of things and leading from there.” Austin sometimes believes has learned more from this foundation about the real-world experience than any schooling he has had.

Brooke Schafer (Junior; Applied Agricultural Economics; Chebanse, IL) decided to become a part of Grand Prix because her brother had friends who were involved with it and after talking to them about it, her brother suggested she join. She ended up loving Grand Prix and is now on her third year with the foundation. This year, she is one of two Directors of Sales. They are responsible for securing industry sponsors for the race and managing their apparel sales. “My favorite part about being on the board is the ability to have a role in putting on one of Purdue's longest lasting traditions. I also love having the ability to watch the end of the main race from the bridge.”

Jarrett Burroughs (Junior; Sales & Marketing; Brookston, IN) is the other half of Director of Sales. “Being a part of the Grand Prix has allowed me to grow as a leader and has improved a lot of my communication and problem-solving skills. It has allowed me to work with a fantastic group of people, get to know alumni, and has allowed me to be a part of one of the oldest traditions at Purdue.” The biggest thing Jarrett has gained from his experience on Grand Prix is how to work with other people. Everyone on senior board communicates with one another for an entire year leading up to this one weekend in April. “It’s awesome to see everyone’s hard work come together for this event and I have learned what it takes to put on a huge event like Grand Prix.”

Due to the people he knew involved and Grand Prix’s historic tradition, Thomas Letsinger (Junior; Agribusiness Marketing; Tipton, IN) decided to join Junior Board his Sophomore year and then Senior Board this past year. He is one of two Race Directors and him and his counterpart are responsible for coordinating tech inspections, all practices, qualifications, and the actual race on race day. “This experience has given me a new perspective on my college experience and being able to leave my mark here before I graduate.” Just as much, Thomas loves seeing the teams' passion and dedication to the event and seeing all their hard work unfolding as well.

More information about Grand Prix can be found here: 

Agricultural Economics, 403 West State Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907 USA, (765) 494-4191

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