Purdue Gift to Launch Liberal Arts Scholarship

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A Purdue University graduate is giving the school $1 million for liberal arts scholarships. The Mary Findling Liberal Arts Scholarship Challenge will focus on study-abroad opportunities.

October 13, 2014

News Release

West Lafayette, Ind. -- Up to $2 million in scholarships for Purdue University College of Liberal Arts students could be available thanks to a new challenge gift.

The Mary Findling Liberal Arts Scholarship Challenge will match up to $1 million over the next two years for liberal arts scholarships including funds to support study-abroad experiences. Findling, who is giving Purdue $1 million for the challenge, is a 1972 alumna who earned her bachelor's degree in German with highest distinction.

"We thank Mary Findling for her generosity and also for her insight," said President Mitch Daniels. "The gift's emphasis on study abroad is directly aligned with our current initiative to boost the number of our students incorporating international studies into their Purdue experience."

Findling is an attorney at Findling Park & Associates, PC, in Indianapolis.

"A liberal arts education provides students with the key to unlock their minds - they learn how to look at and analyze the world, not based upon what someone has told them was true, not based upon some bias or prejudice they learned as a child, but based upon their own examination of various ideas, philosophies and evidence," Findling said. "I hope that students who have the opportunity to study abroad not only have fun living in a foreign country - they should have fun because it is fun - but I also hope that they learn and appreciate that all cultures have value and should be respected."

Findling is a longtime medical malpractice lawyer, and her work on cases related to serious injury, permanent disability and wrongful death has influenced the way malpractice law is understood in Indiana. Findling, originally from Muncie, Indiana, earned her master's in Germanic Languages and Literature and received a teaching license from the University of Michigan in 1974. She taught German at Muncie Central High School from 1974-1983, and she spent one of those years on a Fulbright Teacher Exchange Program to Germany to teach English in a German high school. She earned her law degree from Indiana University in 1986.

Of the match, $500,000 will go toward scholarship challenge endowments for liberal arts students and another $500,000 will match study-abroad scholarship challenge endowments for students with majors in liberal arts.

"We deeply appreciate Mary Findling's initiative for the first liberal arts-exclusive scholarship challenge at Purdue," said Irwin Weiser, the Justin S. Morrill Dean of the College of Liberal Arts. "This gift celebrates the liberal arts, an essential component of a Purdue education that encourages students by challenging them to consider the world more broadly and to lead boldly as inspired, productive, engaged members of society."

The College of Liberal Arts is home to the departments of Anthropology, English, History, Philosophy, Political Science and Sociology, as well as the Brian Lamb School of Communication, the Patti and Rusty Rueff School of Visual and Performing Arts, and the schools of Interdisciplinary Studies, and Languages and Cultures. In the college, there are 271 faculty and 3,243 undergraduate students and 772 graduate students.

Source: Purdue University