Ever True: 150 Years of Giant Leaps at Purdue University

Ever True: 150 Years of Giant Leaps at Purdue University (ePub)

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 Ever True: 150 Years of Giant Leaps at Purdue University
Purdue University Press

Book Description

In 1869 the State of Indiana founded Purdue University as Indiana’s land-grant university dedicated to agriculture and engineering. Today, Purdue stands as one of the elite research and education institutions in the world. Its halls have been home to Nobel Prize- and World Food Prize-winning faculty, record-setting astronauts, laurelled humanists, researchers, and leaders of industry. Its thirteen colleges and schools span the sciences, liberal arts, management, and veterinary medicine, boasting more than 450,000 living alumni.


Ever True: 150 Years of Giant Leaps at Purdue University by John Norberg captures the essence of this great university. In this volume, Norberg takes readers beyond the iconic redbrick walls of Purdue University’s West Lafayette campus to delve into the stories of the faculty, alumni, and leaders who make up this remarkable institution’s distinguished history. Written to commemorate Purdue University’s sesquicentennial celebrations, Ever True picks up where prior histories leave off, bringing the intricacies of historic tales to the forefront, updating the Purdue story to the present, and looking to the future.


A preview of Ever True is available for download here.

Book Reviews

    Advance Praise for Ever True

 Ever True   . . . the compelling story about the first 150 years of Purdue University. Written with concise historical perspective, and mixed with humor and wit, this quick read tells the stories of the people who have made Purdue into the outstanding University it is today. This book is laced with appreciation and respect, as only this accomplished Hall of Fame author could do. Thank you, John Norberg!

—Vanessa J. Castagna, Board of Trustees, 2013–Present, Purdue University


Take a long, thrilling ride on the Boilermaker Special with chronicler John Norberg. With wit and humor, Norberg captures the spirit, the adventure, the stories, and the achievements of one of Americas oldest and most admired institutions of higher education. You will feel that you are living the legends that inspire Boilermakers everywhere. You will meet the people who have made a lasting impact on a university that is both respectful of tradition and welcoming of new ideas. The worlds oldest Big Bass Drum is summoning you to spend some time with this delightful history, which marches through 150 years of famous competitions on the gridiron to inspira­tion from Nobel Laureates.

France A. Córdova, President Emerita, Purdue University


Among its stories of alumni and faculty giantsEver True illuminates the role students have played in shaping the University, and the book reads as a familiar and telling account of what students prize. It grounds the reader in what truly exemplifies being a Boilermaker that the bold spirit present in many members of the Purdue community today is nothing new, but rather to be expected and cherished.

Samuel Eschker, Student Body President, 2017–2018, Purdue University


John Norbergs Ever True: 150 Years of Giant Leaps at Purdue University is an engaging, inspiring, and beautifully written history of one of Americas most distinguished public universities. It tells the story of Purdue from its humble origins through to its emergence as a preeminent research university. Purdues relentless commitment to excellence is captured in the personalities and stories of its leaders, its faculty, its students, and its remarkably devoted alumni. Norberg artfully captures the excitement and progress of the time period after 2000 that I have personally experienced at Purdue. This wonderful book is a must-read for all who love this great University.

Martin C. Jischke, President Emeritus, Purdue University


With captivating storytelling, drama, and wit, John Norberg has compiled the most comprehensive history of Purdue University to date. His account brings history to life by focusing on the people who shaped Purdue. Written as a series of vignettes, each chapter illuminates a major event or tradition, always with the human element at the forefront. Through diaries, interviews, and other rare sources, Norberg offers a variety of perspectives that define the identity and character of the institution via the personalities involved. Even the most die-hard Purdue fan will find something new to learn and savor in Ever True.

Sammie L. Morris, University Archivist, Purdue University


Ever True is a very good read! Anyone who approaches this book believing the old myth that history is dull and uninteresting will be pleasantly surprised. This book is a gift of great value to the Purdue community now and as long as there is a Purdue University.

Betty M. Nelson, Dean of Students Emerita, Purdue University


Norberg skillfully walks readers through time in this fascinating, comprehensive history of Purdue. His relatable descriptions contain something for everyone to learn. We as students should be proud to be part of this rich history, and Ever True provides us with a sense of what it means to be a Boilermaker: a hardworking, humble individual who has the potential to make an enormous impact. I am ever grateful to the Boilermakers in this book who have made Purdue what it is today. As a trustee, I feel even more compelled after reading Ever True to ensure that Purdues future is as fruitful as its 150-year history. Hail Purdue.

Daniel Romary, Student Trustee, 2017–2019, Purdue University



About the Author(s):

John Norberg is a writer, author, humorist, and a chronicler of the human condition. Retired as director of communications for development at Purdue University, he began his humor column in 1971 while working at Indiana’s Brazil Daily Times. The column appeared in the Lafayette Journal and Courier from March 1973 to October 2014. He has received more than 50 state and national reporting awards. A nationally respected, award-winning speechwriter and public speaker, he also is the author of seven books, including Spacewalker: My Journey in Space and Faith as NASA's Record-Setting Frequent Flyer, which details the story of astronaut Jerry Ross. Additionally, Norberg has written articles for various national publications, including the Saturday Evening Post, USA Today, the Christian Science Monitor, and Time magazine. He was most recently honored with the prestigious Purdue University Special Boilermaker Award and was inducted into the Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame for a lifetime of work.