Intercollegiate athletics & campus vibrancy
Last spring, Purdue Calumet student athletes compiled the highest cumulative grade point average (3.08) in the history of our university. It exceeded that of our overall student body (2.62).
Additionally, 69 percent of our 71 student athletes achieved a higher gpa—while carrying a higher average course load—than that of the average, full-time student/non-athlete at Purdue Calumet. (You can read more details elsewhere in this publication.)
My point in referencing these facts is to express the important niche I believe intercollegiate athletics can occupy at Purdue Calumet.
More specifically, a flourishing intercollegiate athletics program can . . .
- attract competitive, achievement-oriented students who are intent on succeeding on the field and court, as well as in the classroom and laboratory, ultimately, while persisting to graduation.
- fuel university pride that builds and bonds campus community.
- strengthen our connection to and visibility throughout Northwest Indiana and beyond.
- support our strategic, hometown university vision of becoming this region’s respected, valued leader within the multi-faceted arena of higher education.
Though I admit that the priorities of major university athletics far too frequently have become distorted, I also contend that, facilitated properly, athletics can and does contribute positively and substantially to campus vibrancy.
This summer, our search continues for an athletic director who is poised, determined, experienced and energized to lead our program to an unprecedented level. This fall, we will introduce within our expanding athletic program new teams in men’s and women’s soccer. In partnership with the city of Hammond, our commitment to developing an athletic complex at nearby Dowling Park remains firm, complete with a restructured plan for success.
Admittedly, there are more vital priorities to Purdue Calumet’s future; nonetheless, it is my contention that a thriving, intercollegiate athletics program will help us transition into the comprehensive, regional university we aspire to be: Northwest Indiana’s hometown university.