Preserving the campus experience amid the pandemic

Students doing yoga

Student Life and other Purdue units created ways to amplify the residential student experience on campus through several programs, including ReEntry Purdue Atmosphere — mixing fun with smart social distancing strategies. From outdoor stress-relieving fitness and yoga to big screen game nights to watch parties on football game days, the University worked to provide Boilermaker memories that captured the tradition of the campus experience.

  • Interfraternity Council, Cooperative Council and local landlords partnered with Purdue to promote safe housing practices.
  • Virtual Student Life and Virtual Boiler Gold Rush provided support and involvement opportunities for students in the online cohort and those in quarantine or isolation.

In total, students participated in over 43,000 socially distanced campus events, either in person or virtually, that were organized by Student Life and other Purdue units:







Preserving, restoring traditional commencement ceremonies

What a difference a semester can make. At the height of the pandemic, Purdue’s Office of the Registrar worked with groups from across campus to deliver the nation’s first-ever virtual, on-demand ceremonies for nearly 10,000 May, August and December 2020 graduates.

Boilermaker graduates received commencement boxes packaged in a coordinated, Purdue-branded gold and black sleeve that declared, “This Giant Leap We Take Together.” Inside, they found a diploma holder, commencement program and earned honor cords and medals. A flyer instructed them on how to download material for a personalized commencement, which could be watched on-demand anytime with their families.

  • Commencement-in-boxes produced and mailed to 10,000+ graduates.
  • Students/families downloaded 1.6 million promotional items such as branded stickers, digital wallpaper, social media graphics and designs.

For the Class of ’21, in-person commencement returned in May, with ceremonies at Ross-Ade Stadium for the first time ever, allowing graduates to share this special experience safely with family and friends. Moving to the spacious football stadium allowed for a safe in-person experience that followed community public health and Purdue safety protocols. Graduates received their diploma and cover in person as they checked in for the ceremony. Names were shown on the vast new stadium video board before the ceremony and during the procession.

Commencement picture