alumni and friends award winner

Steven G. Habben

While Steven Habben graduated from Purdue University more than 30 years ago, his professional life has kept him connected to campus. As president of Kettelhut Construction, he has been involved with building several structures on campus, including the Purdue Bell Tower, Dauch Alumni Center, Jischke Hall of Biomedical Engineering and the Lawson Computer Science Building, among several others.

Les Abend

Persistence paid off for Les Abend his first year at Purdue. He attended the University even though he had not been admitted into the flight program. “After numerous trips riding my bike from Cary Quad to visit the department head during my first semester, I was accepted. I never looked back,” he says.

Rob McKinney

Rob McKinney says he chose Purdue for its top-ranked aviation program. And that decision — along with having the Purdue degree on his resume — has opened countless doors.

Mike Dilts

Mike Dilts found his fit in Purdue’s construction management technology program, where he valued having professors who brought relevant industry experience to the classroom over focusing on theory-based learning.

“Much like the structure to a building, Purdue created a foundation that allowed me to grow in my career,” Dilts says. “No curriculum mirrors exactly what your chosen industry may require, but having the general classes in construction, along with the technical study, gave me a jump start over most other schools’ graduates.”

Parker Woods

Parker Woods says he chose Purdue’s Department of Computer and Information Technology for its reputation and hands-on approach. The small team experiences in labs and the correlation between lecture and practice fueled Woods’ passion for the field, which eventually led to a career he describes as “innovative, transformational and adaptive.”

Anthony Gregory

Anthony Gregory knew of Purdue’s reputation for academic rigor and extensive opportunities for students to get involved outside of the classroom — not to mention the quality of its faculty and success of its graduates. Gregory says he chose Purdue because it stood out clearly among the other institutions he considered for an undergraduate education.

Chris Durnil

Changing his major from engineering after realizing that it was nothing like construction, Chris Durnil found his place in the building construction management (BCM) program.

“My first class at the construction lab in the basement of Knoy solidified my choice in BCM and construction,” he says. “This lab provides students the unique ability to follow a professor’s lecture with hands-on, practical application.”

Although each professor provided Durnil with lifelong lessons, one professor stood out.

Mike Alder

For Mike Alder, choosing Purdue was easy. He grew up with a father who graduated from Purdue, and with a love for construction, computer-aided design and 3-D modeling.

“I knew that Purdue Polytechnic would equip me with the knowledge and experience I would need to get my career started in these fields,” he says.

Phillip Kinnison

As a high school student, Phillip Kinnison says, he didn’t see university life in his future — but that all changed when he learned about Purdue’s technical graphics major.

“I realized that this was a perfect fit for me,” he says, “and after entering the program, I was able to expand my areas of focus into interactive multimedia, animation and networking technology.”

Ryan G. Edgell

Ryan Edgell came to Purdue to major in industrial management but switched his major to computer technology to get a more focused education. Knowing he’d found his fit, Edgell dove headfirst into his studies.