Tons of people crowded into a tent on a cool November day last week to watch dignitaries do the ceremonial groundbreaking exercise for the new Purdue Animal Sciences Complex – complete with the Purdue fight song and Purdue Pete in attendance. And why not? It was a proud day for the Purdue University College of Agriculture. Antiquated animal science facilities will be replaced in 2017 with state-of-the-art facilities.
Eddie Creighton of Creighton Brothers, a huge egg producer based in Warsaw, had his time at the microphone. Creighton Brothers was the primary sponsor on one of the two buildings that will be constructed. Contributing $5 million, the company earned naming rights for the building.
It will be named the "Hobart and Russell Creighton Hall of Animal Sciences" in honor of Eddie's father and uncle, who started the company in 1925. Eddie served as general manager from 1982 until he retired in 1998.
This story he told caught everyone's attention. Whether it's true or not, only Eddie knows!
He attended Purdue, back in the days when V.C. Freeman was Dean of Agriculture, the position now held by Jay Akridge. Purdue was a much smaller school in the early 1950s, and students and faculty had more interaction.
"Dean Freeman pulled me aside after one semester early in my college days," Eddie claims. "He looked at me and obviously had looked at my grades. They could have been better.
"He told me, 'Son, you better get those grades up if you want to come back here.'"
Eddie got his grades up, and graduated in 1954. Even Mitch Daniels, on hand to help with the groundbreaking, took note of the story.
"I'm sure glad you got your grades up," he told Eddie from the speaker's podium. "Otherwise, we might not be here today!" Daniels was referring to the Creighton Brothers Company's role in supplying funding for the new complex.