Purdue University is launching Project Bridge with the support of a $5 million gift from benefactors Bill Uhrig and Anastasia Vournas. The university says the five-year program, which is part of the College of Engineering, is an effort to increase the number of underrepresented students on campus.
Purdue says the project also aims to support the success of underrepresented people as students, faculty, staff and alumni.
“Project Bridge is intended to identify the critical barriers for underrepresented minorities and enable Purdue to eliminate such barriers,” Uhrig said.
According to the university, the project will test a variety of approaches to attracting and retaining underrepresented minority students. Using a data-driven approach, the project is intended to identify the opportunities that will produce the desired outcomes.
As part of the university’s Next Moves initiative, Purdue says the College of Engineering will work to ensure that all members of the engineering community have the opportunity to experience all that the university has to offer.
“Thanks to the hard work of faculty, students, staff and alumni, who have laid the groundwork for Project Bridge over the course of this academic year, and with the generous support of Bill Uhrig and Anastasia Vournas, we have an opportunity to make a real difference,” said Mung Chiang, the John A. Edwardson Dean of the College of Engineering. “Purdue Engineering anticipates the largest ever incoming class of underrepresented minorities this fall and is on track to welcome the largest entering class of Black Boilermakers in nearly three decades.”
Purdue says first-year funds are being used to improve scholarship offers to make them more competitive, expand Minority Engineering Program activities to recruit and support engineering students, facilitate a new HBCU partnership and high school, and conduct a student success factor study.