Purdue CelebratesBlack Excellence

Purdue celebrates Black excellence with stories about the giant leaps made by Purdue’s outstanding Black students, alumni, faculty, and staff. We honor the individuals from our Boilermaker history who have made significant impact on our University, and those who are continuing to do so with their bold, life-changing contributions. As part of Black History Month, and beyond, we celebrate those who helped make Purdue University the outstanding institution of higher learning it is today.

Purdue University Black Cultural Center

The Purdue University Black Cultural Center is a vibrant element of University life, offering a wealth of programs and services for the entire campus community. The BCC brings together the diversity of the Purdue family by nurturing and presenting the rich heritage of the African American experience through art, history and cultural understanding.

Explore the BCC

Purdue Renames Residence Halls for Parker Sisters

When Frieda and Winifred Parker enrolled at Purdue in 1946, they could not live on campus. The two sisters and their family led the successful campaign to integrate university housing, which went into effect in 1947. In October 2021, Purdue held a dedication ceremony for the newly-named Frieda and Winifred Parker Residence Halls to honor their commitment to the fight for equity and access in education. They are the first buildings on campus to be named for Black alumnae. Watch this documentary to learn about the Parker Sisters.

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Black History at Purdue University

Learn more about Black history at Purdue, including its early pioneers and key events that helped shape the University’s future through this Purdue Archives and Special Collections timeline.

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Assata Gilmore

2020-2021 Student Body President Assata Gilmore made her mark on Purdue and constantly dreams of her next giant leap. Learn more about her campus involvement.

Meet Don and Liz Thompson

Don and Liz Thompson’s impact and commitment to Purdue, particularly the university’s Minority Engineering program, has empowered generations of students.

Black Cultural Center Video Tour

Purdue University’s Black Cultural Center is a vibrant element of campus life. The BCC offers a wealth of the African American experience through art, history, and cultural understanding education and programming.

Leroy Keyes

Purdue football legend Leroy Keyes discusses growing up Black and how Purdue University made him feel accepted.

Toyinda Smith

Purdue Hall of Famer continues to make an impact, now as an author, professor and coach, among other titles.

Black Voices of Inspiration

Established in 1975 as part of Purdue University’s Black Cultural Center performing arts ensembles, Black Voices of Inspiration (BVOI) is a choir dedicated to the performance of spirituals, gospels and contemporary songs of inspiration by African American composers.