Preserving the Campus Experience Amid Pandemic

Committed to offering as near a pre-COVID-19 normal residential experience for students on the West Lafayette campus, Protect Purdue efforts heading into a new academic year in Fall 2021 focused on providing the types of experiences in and outside the classroom and restoring the traditions that generations of Boilermakers have come to enjoy.

  • Study abroad opportunities and other forms of international student travel, including but not limited to travel sponsored by student organizations and individual student travel, returned for students.
  • Undergraduate research opportunities, as either in-person or remote experiences, were reinstated, although they were reduced in number or type because of COVID-19 safety measures on laboratory capacity.
  • Colleges, divisions, and academic and research units were allowed to host visitors if they were made aware of and adhered to Protect Purdue guidelines in place at the time of the visit. For international visitors, delegations of three or more were deferred to Spring 2022 unless the visit was key to Purdue’s teaching, research or engagement missions.

Student Life and other Purdue units created ways to amplify the residential student experience through several programs, including Purdue Weeks of Welcome and a return of convocations events and conferences — mixing fun with smart social distancing strategies.

Weeks of Welcome

Purdue Weeks of Welcome events kicked off a return to a vibrant lineup of extracurricular experiences, culminating with Homecoming weekend on Oct. 1-3. Highlights included:

  • During the first week of classes, Memorial Mall was the site of the outlandish Squonk Opera spectacle, featuring four performances over two days from Purdue Convocations.
  • The Diverse Student Organization Council presented a dynamic collection of 10 activities Aug. 30-Sept. 5 that promoted the powerful connections and services for students.
  • Leading up to Homecoming weekend, the Purdue Student Union Board presented a special Homecoming Open Mic event in which student talent took the spotlight in a feature to animate the Third Street corridor.
  • Purdue for Life offered a weeklong lineup of Homecoming activities either virtually or in person — from a Beatles singalong at Slayter Center to a “Family Feud”-style game night, free rides aboard the Boilermaker Special and the annual Homecoming Parade.

Boilermaker Fans Return to the Stands

For the first time in two years, Boilermaker fans returned to Ross-Ade Stadium, Mackey Arena and Holloway Gym, cheering Purdue to win after win after win.

  • Fans turned out in force at Ross-Ade, spurring their Purdue football team to an 8-4 record and an appearance against Tennessee in the Music City Bowl, their first bowl game since 2018 and 20th overall. Attendance ranked No. 8 in nation, with capacity averaging 98.4% per game during the season at Ross-Ade, which holds 57,236 fans.
  • With a capacity of 2,288, Holloway Gym was the site of some of the best women’s volleyball play in years, as the Boilermakers finished with a 26-7 record, including 14-3 at home, and a second straight Elite Eight appearance.
  • Ranked in the Top 10 in preseason polls, the Purdue men’s basketball team played before soldout Mackey Arena crowds of 14,240 for all eight home games through December, marching to their first No. 1 AP ranking in school history on Dec. 6.