Aerial photo of Purdue University located in West Lafayette, Indiana
Updated: Monday, 18 Feb 2013, 3:59 PM EST
Published : Monday, 18 Feb 2013, 1:05 PM EST
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) -- A couple asking to remain anonymous made a $65 million gift to Purdue University's College of Agriculture, the largest donation the university has ever received from individuals, the school announced Monday.
Purdue President Mitch Daniels released a statement calling the gift "a tremendous vote of confidence" for the university and its agriculture school.
The anonymous couple pledged the money as an estate gift that will go to the school following their deaths, said Purdue spokesman Chris Sigurdson. He said the gift is currently worth $65 million but that will continue to grow.
The money will come to the College of Agriculture without any restrictions, meaning decisions on how the money is spent will be left up to the college.
"Typically a lot of gifts that come in from individuals are dedicated to some specific effort, cause, initiative or program," Sigurdson said. "When you get this level of unrestricted, that's pretty impressive."
The donation "is truly a transformational gift" for the college, said Dean of Purdue Agriculture Jay Akridge in a statement.
A school official said the timing of the gift seemed to be related to Daniels, the former Indiana governor, becoming Purdue's president.
"The donors made the gift in support of Mitch Daniels in his new role as president," said Lisa Calvert, Purdue vice president for development. "Since the announcement of a new administration in June, there has been an increase in broad base support, including the total number of donors and dollars raised, resulting in a new energy in philanthropy."
Purdue's second-largest gift from individuals was $52.5 million in 2002 from Bill and Mary Ann Bindley. Bill Bindley is a 1962 graduate of Purdue. Of the $52.5 million, $7.5 million was given for construction of a bioscience research center at the university's Discovery Park and the remaining $45 million is an estate gift to create new endowed faculty chairs, scholarships and fellowships.
WANE.COM is transitioning to a comments format that uses Facebook. However the same ground rules apply as before. No profanity or personal attacks. No racially charged comments. If it's not something you would say to someone's face, it's most likely inappropriate. Please comment on the subject of the story itself. If you do not follow these rules, we will remove your post. WANE is not responsible for the content posted in this comment section.