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Purdue University Retirees Association



  • Existence: 1976-

Historical Information

The Purdue University Retirees became active as an organized group in 1976. Purdue President Arthur G. Hansen created the President’s Advisory Council on Retirement (PACR) in response to concerns raised by retirees that the university had become disconnected from the needs of its retired employees. Originally the council consisted of an Executive Committee composed of the council chairperson and chairs of three other committees: Benefits, Program, and Communications. Over the years, several other committees formed.

A priority for the first chairman of the Presdient's Advisory Council on Retirement, Harland W. White, was to survey Purdue retirees to better assess their needs. The survey revealed that rising inflation in the mid to late 1970s had seriously affected the standard of living of university retirees. One of the retirees’ major concerns was the escalating cost of health care. The Benefits Committee urged the administration to include all retirees under the university’s group medical insurance coverage. In the summer of 1977 the Board of Trustees agreed to an expanded plan in which the costs of the administration of the health insurance plan were to be paid by Purdue University with individual retirees paying the insurance premium.

The Program Committee initiated a series of social activities and arranged monthly programs at the university that covered topics that ranged from tax tips to health care. The first annual retiree luncheon was held in the late summer of 1977 at Purdue’s Memorial Union. Another annual event was started that year, the retirees’ summer picnic, which was first held at The Hills and was later moved to West Lafayette’s Happy Hollow Park.

The Communications Committee created the retiree newsletter in the winter of 1977; the Committee also began publication of the biannual retiree directory in 1979. In 2001 the retiree directory information was published as a special section of the Purdue Telephone Directory.

Over the years PACR/PURA worked with the university administration to provide retirees with comprehensive health care coverage and reduced prescription prices. They have also urged the administration to provide additional benefits such as tuition reductions, complementary campus parking permits and reduced rates for convocation programs, athletic events, recreational facilities, and golf courses. Retirees have also given back to the university. From 1979 to 1998 Purdue retirees donated over 17 million dollars to the university, and from 2000 through 2011 retirees’ gifts averaged over four million dollars a year.

In the 2001-2002 year, two major events occurred which would have a significant impact on PACR. The first was the creation and associated funding of the Arthur G. Hansen Recognition Award to be awarded to a department/school for cultivating and maintaining a particularly meaningful relationship with its retirees. The second event, approved by Purdue President Martin C. Jischke, was the adoption of an official set of bylaws that changed the name of the organization to the Purdue University Retirees Association (PURA) and guaranteed a source of annual funding from the Office of the President.

PURA’s primary purpose is to serve Purdue’s retirees. At its beginning, the Council stated that, "The purpose of PACR shall be to bring into closer association the retired staff members of Purdue University in order to carry out educational programs for such staff members, to enhance their welfare and fellowship, and to strengthen communication channels with the University in such a manner as to be mutually beneficial."


MSP 31, Purdue University Retirees Association records, Purdue University Archives and Special Colllections, Purdue University Libraries.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Professional Career, 1923 - 2018

 Series — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSF 555, Series 3
Scope and Contents The Professional Career series holds materials related to May's extensive career at Purdue University and is categorized under three sub-series: Teaching, Writing and Research, and Professional Activities. A large portion of this series includes writings and research May conducted in addition to her teaching duties, and also her participation in many professional organizations such as the Children's Literature Association. Types of materials include teaching materials, manuscripts, research...
Dates: 1923 - 2018; Majority of material found within 1975 - 2018