Old Masters – A Purdue Tradition

The Old Masters Program is a unique and well-established annual event at Purdue University. It was created in 1950 when student leaders, business representatives, and university officials together defined success as “honesty, personal integrity, and a good philosophy.” This sparked the idea to invite a group of ten successful and outstanding individuals to campus for the purpose of sharing ideas and experiences with the student body, thus comprising the first ten Old Masters. They have since been followed by over 600 eminent personalities helping this tradition at Purdue to strengthen and grow each year.

To Purdue students and faculty, an Old Master is an exceptional person who has made significant contributions to his or her own field. There is no typical Old Master, all walks of life are represented. It is not necessary for an Old Master to be a graduate of Purdue. Each person, however, possesses the same desire to share philosophies and experiences with Purdue students.

The Central Committee, comprised of twelve Purdue students and three faculty advisors, is responsible for the planning of the program. Throughout the year, preparations are made in anticipation of the Old Masters’ arrivals in the fall. During their stay on campus, each Old Master is escorted by a group of hosts and hostesses chosen by the Central Committee. Their itinerary includes visiting classrooms and residence units and attending informal breakfasts, luncheons, and dinners. A recent addition to the program is a convocation called Evening With an Old Master. This convocation is open to all of campus and allows the Old Masters to reach out to a large portion of the student body. The Old Masters answer questions submitted by the audience in the hopes of connecting with and inspiring as many boilermakers as possible.

Through the Old Masters program, we honor those who have given of themselves and achieved success. Ideas and inspirations continue to resonate in the hearts and minds of the students long after the Old Masters have become a part of Purdue’s history. If you would like to nominate someone who embodies these ideals, please complete the nomination form.

Old Masters Mission Statement

Old Masters – A long-standing Purdue tradition that connects distinguished professionals to the student body in order to broaden perspectives, unite generations, and inspire one another to move the world forward together as Boilermakers.

Old Masters Vision Statement

  • Enriching Traditions.
  • Uniting Generations.
  • Empowering Boilermakers.