Purdue's Early Aviation History

The first Purdue graduate to become an aviator was J. Clifford Turpin (class of 1908), who was taught to fly by Orville Wright. Another Purdue graduate, Ralph Johnson, was the first person to document aircraft landing procedures that are still used today. In 1930, Purdue became the first U.S. university to offer college credit for flight training, and it opened the nation's first university-owned airport. Amelia Earhart served as a women's career counselor at Purdue from 1935 until her disappearance in 1937. Purdue provided the funds for Earhart's "Flying Laboratory", the Lockheed Electra in which she disappeared while attempting to fly around the world in 1937.