About Purdue North Central

aerial photo of PNC campus

Purdue University North Central is a campus of more than 6,000 students and is a part of the Purdue University system. Students may choose from a master’s degree program and a variety of bachelor’s degrees. It is located just south of the intersection of I-80 and US 421.

Mission Statement

The mission of Purdue University North Central, a regional campus of Purdue University is based on the tradition of a land grant university (Learning, Discovery, and Engagement).

  • Through Learning, the primary mission of this university, the campus offers all students educational programs and services that foster student success and goal attainment in a student-centered environment.
  • Through Discovery, the campus encourages the creation of new knowledge, products, processes and applications through research and scholarship. The cooperative efforts of students, faculty and staff are essential for success.
  • Through Engagement, the campus partners with and assists alumni, community members, businesses and organizations. These activities involve all members of the campus, including students, through transfer of knowledge, consulting, service learning, volunteerism, economic development and related activities.

Purdue University North Central gives continual and careful consideration to the unique characteristics and needs of our many constituencies, especially our students, in this region, the State of Indiana and beyond.

Vision Statement

Purdue University North Central will become the regional center of excellence for education, information, economic development and culture.

Values Statement

The activities of Purdue University North Central are based on the following values to best serve its many constituencies through Learning, Discovery and Engagement. PNC values:

  • People who choose to attend or be employed by this institution with all their differences and abilities.
  • Professional, cultural and general education needs of this diverse industrial, technological and agricultural region.
  • Education of high quality and integrity in an atmosphere that promotes lifelong learning through specific curricula that lead primarily to baccalaureate and master ‘ s degrees sought by our constituents.
  • Timely assessment of all programs and activities using the results of those assessments to improve the programs and activities offered by this institution.
  • Diversity that will provide a broad representation of experiences, perspectives, opinions and cultures. Inclusion is an essential source of vitality and strength for the effective pursuit of PNC’s mission.
  • Research and inquiry in all aspects of the university life, by students, faculty, staff and partnerships with constituents.
  • New knowledge, products, processes and applications gained through university inquiry.
  • Clear and frequent communication of our activities, plans and visions for the future with all constituents, both internal and external.
  • Growth and academic success opportunities for our constituents by establishing multiple partnerships that will utilize the abundant resources of our geographical area.
  • International awareness as students and local citizens look to this campus for leadership and education in this area so vital to the future.
  • Good stewardship of all campus resources entrusted to this institution, particularly our human resources, while being fully aware of the responsibilities we carry for the environment in which we live and the energy we require to fulfill our mission.

A Brief History

Purdue University became a presence in the area shortly after World War II when the University began offering technical courses at “extension centers” in more than 40 sites around Indiana, including LaPorte and Michigan City. The centers offered Purdue’s complete freshman engineering program, as well as a two-year technical institute.

Purdue Barker Center

class at Barker Center

In 1948, Catherine Barker Hickox, daughter of a turn-of-the-century Michigan City industrialist, offered the family mansion as a permanent home for the LaPorte County extension center and the course offerings were expanded. For the next 18 years, students attended classes in the historic Barker Mansion on Washington Street, in a setting of Edwardian opulence.

Permanent Campus Opens

Enrollment grew steadily, and in 1962 Purdue purchased 155 acres of farmland on Highway 421 a few miles north of Westville as the site of a new, permanent campus to be named Purdue University North Central. The Education Building opened its doors for the Fall 1967 semester, with an enrollment of 1,200 students. In 1984, this building was renamed Schwarz Hall in honor of Robert F. Schwarz, the first dean and director.

Schwarz returned to teaching in 1972 and John W. Tucker served as Chancellor from 1972 to 1979, when he returned to full-time teaching. William R. Fuller was Interim Chancellor until June 1982, when Dale W. Alspaugh was named Acting Chancellor. Alspaugh became Chancellor in 1984, retiring from that position in December 1999. James B. Dworkin became Chancellor in January 2000.

More Buildings Added

A second major structure, the Library-Student-Faculty Building , was completed in 1975. In the spring of 1985, a 2,600 square-foot Robotics and Flexible Manufacturing Technology Laboratory was built. Equipment from this lab was moved into the Technology Building upon its completion in the spring of 1995. Since then, the campus has expanded to 269 acres and the student body has expanded to over 4,000–over three times its original size.

In December of 2000, PNC announced the opening of the Valparaiso Academic Center, a 10,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art education and training facility designed to serve the professional development needs of management and technical professional as well as degree-seeking adults. This facility now has two buildings that have been gifted to the campus. These structures house classes offered for the Master of Business Administration courses as well as selected undergraduate courses.

In May of 2002, Purdue North Central announced the opening of the North Central Veterinary Emergency Center (NCVEC). The $1.4 million facility is located on the PNC campus and was made possible through a unique, public-private partnership that brings together Purdue and an investor group of 36 area veterinarians. The center provides 24-hour emergency and specialty veterinary care to the owners of dogs, cats, and other small animals within 50 miles of PNC.

Honorary Degrees Awarded by Purdue North Central

2007: Sylvia Bankoff – Doctor of Humane Letters
2004: Harley Snyder – Doctor of Management
2002: Eugene Jaffe – Doctor of Management
2001: Angela DelVecchio – Doctor of Science
2000: William R. Fuller – Doctor of Science
1995: Peter C. Kesling – Doctor of Science
1991: Russell L. Arndt – Doctor of Agriculture
1990: Joe R. Urschel – Doctor of Technology
1987: Burton B. Ruby – Doctor of Laws
1986: Charles F. Bowman – Doctor of Agriculture
1985: John A. Garrettson – Doctor of Laws

Archive Photos of PNC Campus