From the Head Bug | Entomology@Purdue | Spring 2011

Entomology 2012 Centennial Celebration

Head Bug Steve YaninekHead Bug: Steve Yaninek

I just got back from Kenya where I worked with colleagues there on vegetable plant protection.  It had been 14 years since my last trip to Kenya.  Much had changed, but I still managed some greetings and a few rudimentary phrases in Kiswahili because I studied in Kenya as an exchange student many years ago.  I met two former classmates from my student days at the University of Nairobi among the new colleagues I encountered.  Our common experiences as students gave us a familiar place to reconnect our lives after so many years on separate continents. 


I am an alumnus of U. C. Berkeley, but my time in Kenya has always been a special part of my student experience.  Being an alumnus means being part of something unique.  Alumni share a history and a connection that provides a sense of belonging to something distinctive and exclusive.  Being alumni of Purdue and the Department of Entomology is no different.  Our alumni span nearly a century which is something special in itself.  Next year will be a very special opportunity for our alumni.


Get ready for a once in a lifetime happening.  Next year we will be celebrating 100 years as a Department of Entomology at Purdue University.  Entomology has been part of Purdue since it was founded in 1869, but in 1912 the Department of Horticulture and Entomology were split into separate departments.  To recognize this milestone, we will dedicate the 2012-2013 academic year to celebrate our centennial. 


A 2012 Centennial Steering Committee composed of faculty, staff, and alumni has been put together to plan activities and special events to mark the centennial.  The steering committee is composed of Gene White (BS '96)(chair), Mike Culy (BS '79, MS '82, PhD '87), Kevin Steffey (BS '72), Eldon Ortman, Steve Yaninek, Tom Turpin, and Paula Layden.


The steering committee's work is being orchestrated by the following four subcommittees: Communications, Events, Recognition, and History and Archives.  The charge and members of the four subcommittees are as follows:


Communications (Gene White, chair) – This subcommittee provides leadership in all manners of communication, publicity, and outreach associated with the centennial.  Members include Dave Mueller (BS '75), Eric Putman, Valerie Wininger, Paula Layden, and other alumni and emeritus faculty still to be determined.  You will hear a lot about our centennial celebration plans from this subcommittee.


Events (Mike Culy and Kevin Steffey, co-chairs) – This subcommittee has identified and will plan a number of activities and events that recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of alumni and staff in the department.  Members include Tom Turpin, Kathy Heinsohn (PhD '98), Paula Layden, and other alumni and staff still to be determined.


Recognition (Eldon Ortman, chair) – This subcommittee is helping us to identify ways to acknowledge individuals who have brought exceptional recognition to the department through their accomplishments in or outside the department.  Members include Rick Foster, John Foster (PhD '70), and Larry Pedigo (MS '65, PhD '67).


History and Archives (Steve Yaninek, chair) – This subcommittee will select topics and identify items that can be catalogued and archived as representative of the history of the department.  Members include John Osmun, Marianne Stowell-Bracke, Eldon Ortman, Virginia Ferris, Larry Bledsoe (MS '81), Sandy Lindsey, and other alumni and staff still to be determined.


Volunteers are still needed and always welcome if you are interested in joining one of these subcommittees.  Feel free to offer any thoughts and suggestions you would like the 2012 Centennial Steering Committee to consider. 


Look for a special edition of our newsletter at the end of summer with details about the activities and events currently being planned.  We expect to launch a coordinated publicity campaign to get the word out about the centennial celebration, and to solicit stories, photos and other memorabilia from alumni, staff, and friends of the department this summer. 


Mark your calendars and starting digging up those old photographs.  Be a reason you and your peers can enjoy this event to the fullest possible extent.  Contribute, indulge and participate!  We need your stories, photos and other relevant memorabilia to make our centennial something to remember.  With just over a year to go, the centennial will be here sooner than you think.

Department of Entomology, 901 West State Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907 USA, (765) 494-4554

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