Skip to Main Content

Historic Highlights


  • 1874 | John Hussey, professor of botany and one of six original Purdue faculty members, brings his plant collection to campus, which is still held in the Kriebel Herbarium
  • 1879 | Charles Ingersoll becomes the first professor of agriculture
  • 1882 | First bachelor’s degree granted for an agricultural curriculum
  • 1887 |Joseph C. Arthur, professor of botany, establishes the Arthur Fungarium, with over 110,000 specimens today
  • 1895 | Seven graduates awarded first bachelor of science in agriculture degrees
  • 1895 | Purdue Agricultural Alumni Association is founded
  • 1897 | Purdue confers its first doctoral degree, which is in agriculture
  • 1906 | Professor Harvey W. Wiley secures the Pure Food and Drug Act, becoming the “Father of the FDA”
  • 1907 | John Harrison Skinner becomes the first dean of the Purdue School of Agriculture
  • 1911 | Purdue Extension founded
  • 1914 | Moses Fell Dunn donates 360 acres in Lawrence County for Purdue’s first offsite agricultural center
  • 1914 | John Harrison Skinner becomes the first dean of the Purdue School of Agriculture
  • 1919 | Lillian L. Lamb is the first woman to earn a bachelor’s degree in agriculture
  • 1921 | Virginia Claypool Meredith, Purdue’s first female trustee, known as the “Queen of American Agriculture,” is appointed
  • 1922 | School of Agriculture awards its 1,000th bachelor’s degree
  • 1925 | Jane Cecelia Kinsella is appointed the first female School of Agriculture faculty member
  • 1938 | Agricultural Alumni Seed Improvement Association Inc. was founded to market new varieties and hybrids developed at Purdue
  • 1951 |  Orville Redenbacher (BA ’28, HDR ’88) started his popcorn business with partner Charlie Bowman
  • 1969 | During Purdue’s first 100 years, 117 women earned bachelor’s degrees in the School of Agriculture
  • 1969 | The Purdue Creamery serves its last ice cream cone
  • 1972 | School of Agriculture awards its 10,000th bachelor’s degree
  • 1986 | Center for Food and Agricultural Business founded
  • 1990 | School of Agriculture awards its 20,000th bachelor’s degree
  • 1991 | Purdue Chapter of Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences (MANRRS) established
  • 1993 | Global Trade Analysis Project established
  • 2004 | School of Agriculture renamed College of Agriculture
  • 2005 | Office of Multicultural Programs established
  • 2007 | Philip Nelson, professor emeritus of food science, wins World Food Prize
  • 2009 | Gebisa Ejeta, a distinguished professor of agronomy, wins World Food Prize
  • 2011 | Female students enrolled in the College of Agriculture outnumber male students for the first time
  • 2017 | Akinwumi Ayodeji Adesina (MA ’85, PhD ’88) wins World Food Prize
  • 2018 | Karen I. Plaut is named the College of Agriculture’s first female dean
  • 2019 | More than 35,000 undergraduate degrees have been awarded by the College of Agriculture

Featured Stories

Bees on a honey comb
Research team explores genomic options to enhance honeybee resilience

Beekeepers lose between 30% and 40% of their colonies annually, mostly to parasites and...

Read More
Purdue College of Agriculture.
Farmer sentiment improves, producers credit stronger financial conditions

Agricultural producers’ sentiment increased for the second consecutive month, as the Purdue...

Read More
Students gather at Purdue Summer Science Program on campus at Purdue
Donation takes Summer Science Program to the next level

If you’re on Purdue’s campus in the summer, you may notice a group of students...

Read More
Mary Strickland
Mary Strickland - Graduate Ag Research Spotlight

Mary Strickland is a lifelong animal lover — so much so that she admits to occasionally...

Read More
Ismail Olaniyi flies a UAV up above the trees.
The crossroads between lemon trees and technology

In warmer southern and western states, citrus orchards are important for feeding and bringing...

Read More
A hand holding two eggs
Rehabilitation through agricultural skills with Purdue Farmer-to-Farmer Trinidad and Tobago

Gardening and poultry care are sometimes seen as trendy hobbies in the U.S., but in Trinidad and...

Read More
To Top