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The History of Continuing Education at Purdue: The First Hundred Years (1874–1974) was compiled from documents and manuscripts left by Dr. Frank K. Burrin. After his retirement, Dr. Burrin set himself the task of writing a coherent, full-length history of Purdue's contributions to continuing education. Unfortunately, his project was left incomplete at his death. Fortunately, his friends and colleages at the university were unwilling to let his dream die with him. The present monograph is the result of their concern.

The fragmentary nature of the surviving manuscript made it impossible either to reconstruct Dr. Burrin's original plan for the organization of the study or to determine the intended scope. In the absence of an outline of the whole, I have followed a simple chronological order that traces the development of continuing education during Purdue's first hundred years of operation.

It should also be noted that the monograph makes no claim to scholarly precision in documentation. The original manuscript included no footnotes, and references to original sources were often sketchy. Under these circumstances, it seemed best to forego traditional footnotes or bibliography. However, three published works and one unpublished essay deserve special acknowledgment. Both Dr. Burrin and myself drew on the previous work of William Murray Hepburn and Louis Martin Sears, Purdue University: Fifty Years of Progress, H.B. Knoll, The Story of Purdue Engineering, and Dave O. Thompson, Sr., Fifty Years of Cooperative Extension Service in Indiana. Leah Stambler's unpublished essay, Continuing Education at Purdue 1874 to 1977: A Case Study of a State Land-Grant Institution, was helpful in my attempts to fill in the chronology of events. The rest of the facts in the following text are drawn from primary sources: executive memos, letters, reports.

Elizabeth Boyd Thompson, July, 1988

Publication Date

Summer 7-15-1988


continuing education, Purdue University, higher education, land-grant university, outreach, Morrill Act of 1862, extension, service


Adult and Continuing Education | Education | Higher Education | History | Online and Distance Education | University Extension


Open access publication of this title is supported by Purdue University Libraries and School of Information Studies.

Continuing Education at Purdue University: The First Hundred Years (1874–1974)