The Vault

Articles from the Archives

Bringing it Home

A look back at the humble beginnings of Peregrine Athletics

Peregrine Athletics will soon have a new, state-of-the-art nest at Dowling Park which will eventually boast fields for men’s baseball, women’s softball, men’s and women’s tennis, and soccer. These sports are currently played all over the Calumet region, often on fields borrowed from local high schools. Here are a few facts about two of those sports.

Old soccer photoIn the late 1960s, soccer was started as a club sport by a group of dedicated student athletes. With the support of Bob Hayes, the university’s first athletic director, and coach Frank Carroll, it quickly grew in popularity and eventually became an official varsity sport. Soccer games were played on the site of what is now the university residence halls. Before each game, the athletes themselves would painstakingly move benches from site to site so spectators and players would have somewhere to sit.

Without even a dugout, early Purdue University Calumet baseball teams used similar tactics for seating accommodations as their games were played on the open lawn that is now occupied by Lawshe Hall. After much growth, they also created varsity teams, and became the Pipers as Purdue University Calumet’s first official mascot, Piper Pete, was born.

Old Baseball PhotoWhile the mascots have changed over time, athletic competition has remained an important part of the Purdue University Calumet community. As we strive toward victory on the playing fields, we must remember that it is our responsibility to ensure our student athletes have the facilities and tools to remain competitive, both on the field and in the classroom. –By Adam Carey


Where it all started…

Old photo of Bob HayesBob Hayes, the driving force behind athletics at Purdue University Calumet passed away on February 19, 2014 at the age of 92. Bob joined the university in 1956 and retired in 1983. During his tenure, Bob coached most of the sports, ran physical education classes, and developed the expansive intramural sports programs that continue today. Once upon a time, Purdue University Calumet Tennis was played at Dowling Park!

The Archives and Special Collections of Purdue University Calumet is located on the second floor of the Student Union & Library, Room 236, and is open Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m.- 6:00 p.m., and also by appointment. If you have any artifacts or stories from your time at Purdue University Calumet, please call 219-989-2063.

Fun Fact 

Once upon a time,
Purdue University Calumet Tennis
was played at Dowling Park!