Jay Akridge, Glenn W. Sample Dean of Purdue Agriculture, speaks to an audience of Purdue and ADM guests about the importance of the planned ADM Agricultural Innovation Center. (Purdue Agricultural Communication photo/Keith Robinson)
By Keith Robinson
Purdue Agriculture and Archer Daniels Midland Co. used the occasion of a reception, presentation and lunch to celebrate a partnership that will result in construction of the ADM Agricultural Innovation Center, a College of Agriculture building with enhanced laboratory and classroom space for students.
The event at the Shively Stadium Club at Ross-Ade Stadium on May 2 featured remarks by Jay Akridge, Glenn W. Sample Dean of Purdue Agriculture, and Craig Huss, ADM senior vice president and president of the company’s ag services. They and other speakers emphasized the role the operation will play in the development of students as innovators in agricultural and biological engineering.
Also speaking were A. Dale Whitaker, vice provost for undergraduate academic affairs and former College of Agriculture associate dean, director of academic programs and a professor of agricultural and biological engineering, and Bernard Engel, head of the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering. Purdue Agriculture graduate Bruce Cooley was emcee.
ADM is contributing $1.5 million toward the estimated $4.2 million cost to build the 27,000-square-foot, steel-frame center on the south side of campus. Construction will begin in late May and is expected to be completed in December.
The project is an extension of a longstanding partnership between Purdue and ADM, which over the past three years has recruited more students from Purdue than any other university. Decatur, Ill.-based ADM, one of the largest agricultural processors in the world, converts corn, oilseeds, wheat and cocoa into products for food, animal feed, chemical and energy uses.
The building will feature 3-D projection technology and improved seating and ventilation to allow for enhanced research opportunities for nearly 400 undergraduate and graduate students.
The center is needed because the current building is small and outdated. Its machine shop capabilities will replace a nearby facility that will be razed to make way for a building that will house the new College of Health and Human Sciences.