Purdue University, located in West Lafayette, Indiana, is the flagship university of the six-campus Purdue University system. Purdue was founded on May 6, 1869, as a land-grant university when the Indiana General Assembly, taking advantage of the Morrill Act, accepted a donation of land and money from Lafayette businessman John Purdue to establish a college of science, technology, and agriculture in his name. The first classes were held on September 16, 1874, with six instructors and 39 students.
The university was founded with the gift of $150,000 from John Purdue, a Lafayette business leader and philanthropist, along with $50,000 from Tippecanoe County, and 150 acres (0.6 km²) of land from Lafayette residents in support of the project. In 1869, it was decided that the new school would be built near the city of Lafayette and established as Purdue University, in the name of the institution’s principal benefactor.
The West Lafayette campus offers more than 200 majors for undergraduates, over 70 master’s and doctoral programs, and professional degrees in pharmacy and veterinary medicine. In addition, Purdue has 18 intercollegiate sports teams and more than 850 student organizations. Today, Purdue is a member of the Big Ten Conference. Purdue enrolls the second largest student body of any university in Indiana as well as the fourth largest international student population of any university in the United States.