The Purdue Board of Trustees
“Pursuant to Indiana Code, the Board of Trustees consists of ten members. Three members of the Board are elected by the Purdue Alumni Association, one of whom must be a graduate of the College of Agriculture. The governor appoints the remaining seven members of the Board, including a student trustee. All members of the Board serve three-year terms, with the exception of the student, who serves for two years. The trustees’ terms begin on July 1 and end on June 30.”
— Purdue Board of Trustees Web Page – 2018
On March 6, 1865, the Indiana General Assembly voted to accept the provisions of the 1862 Morrill Act of Congress to establish a land-grant university. A five-member board including Governor Morton became “The Trustees of the Indiana Agricultural College” and met for the first time on October 20, 1865.
On May 6, 1869, the Indiana General Assembly, without an oversupply of money, accepted gifts of $150,000 and 100 acres of land from John Purdue, and $50,000 from Tippecanoe County to establish the university.
Since 1865, 175 individuals have served on the Board of Trustees, including ten current members.
On March 9, 1921, the Indiana statute governing the appointment of Purdue trustees was amended to include at least one graduate of the College of Agriculture, Since then, 18 Agriculture bachelor’s degree recipients, including four student representatives, have been board members.
NAME GRADUATE HOMETOWN TRUSTEE
Palmer Ray Edgerton 1906 Jonesboro 1924-1941
Claude R. Wickard 1915 Camden 1963-1967
J. Ralph Thompson 1919 Seymour 1941-1968
Paul Bales Sturm 1923 Dana 1938-1945
Sherman O. Kessler 1936 New Ross 1973-1988
John A. Stewart 1941 Greensburg 1980-1992
Thomas E. Graham 1942 Washington 1968-1980
Donald S. Powers 1947 Schererville 1975-199
W. Wayne Townsend 1951 Hartford City 1989-2004
Robert E. Peterson 1952 Rochester 2003-2006
Lawrence “Sonny” Beck * 1962 Atlanta 2013-
John D. Hardin, Jr. 1967 Danville 1992-2016
D. William Moreau, Jr. 1974 Hartford City 1991-2003
Mark Townsend 1977 Hartford City 2004-2007
Anna C. Day Dilger ** 2002 Noblesville 2001-2003
Rachel N. Cumberbatch ** 2007 West Lafayette 2005-2007
Jill Steiner Zeller ** 2009 Noblesville 2007-2009
Cameron S. Mann ** 2017 Cloverdale 2015-2017
* Current Representative
** Student Representative