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Tribute To France Cordova

Sen. Richard G. Lugar

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Mr. President, today I wish to recognize Dr. France A. Cordova, Purdue University's 11th president and the first woman to head that institution.

Dr. Cordova became president of Purdue on July 16, 2007, and has overseen a strategic plan that emphasizes student success, research deliverables and global engagement. During her presidency, she has led Purdue to record levels of research funding, reputational rankings, and student retention rates; championed diversity among students, staff and university leadership; and promoted student success, faculty excellence, education affordability and programmatic innovation. Under her leadership, Purdue has expanded its role as a top research institution on the global stage and raised more than $1 billion through private philanthropy.

President Cordova will retire from Purdue at the end of her 5-year term, July 2012. She leaves a legacy of excellence at Purdue and in the field of higher education. Among the numerous national boards she serves, she is currently the chair of the Smithsonian Board of Regents, a three-year term which began in January 2012.

That Purdue is the cradle of astronauts--with 23 astronaut alumni--is significant to Dr. Cordova, who first dreamed of exploring space as she watched Neil Armstrong take the first human footsteps on the moon in 1969. She has served Purdue University honorably and with a great commitment to students, research innovation and global outreach.

It is my honor to recognize Dr. France A. Cordova as an outstanding scientist, educator and administrator, who has given so much to Purdue University and the State of Indiana, and I wish her every continuing success in her future endeavors.