Early Events of Purdue


Morrill Land Grant Act of 1862

July 2 1862

President Abraham Lincoln signed the Morrill Land Grant Act, which gave lands over to any state that agreed to use the profit made from selling the land to establish and maintain a college teaching agriculture and the "mechanic arts".

Plan Established


The Indiana General Assembly voted to participate in the plan and took steps to establish such an institution.

Land Chosen

May 6, 1869

The Indiana General Assembly chose Lafayette for the new institution and received gifts from John Purdue for $150,000, $50,000 from Tippecanoe County and 100 acres of land from local community members.

First President


Purdue's very first president, Richard Owen, started his term at the university.

Classes Began

September 16, 1874

Classes began with six instructors and 39 students.

First Degree Earned

June 17, 1875

John Bradford Harper earned the first Purdue University degree.