Purdue Alumnus Purdue Alumnus May-June 2016 : Page 14

HISTORY BOOKS A Tip of the (Hard) Hat Purdue Pete flipped his lid. Literally. In 1983, Purdue’s athletic mascot took off the boxy hat he had worn at a jaunty angle atop his raven hair for two decades and donned a new skimmer — a construction hard hat. Manly, yes. But what spawned Pete’s millinery makeover? Edward L. Neufer (A’59) had a light bulb illuminate over his head — an idea for a new Pete hat. During the 1970s to 1980s, Neufer was on the board and executive committee of the Purdue Alumni Association, and in 1982, he was elected president. He owned Safety Equipment and Supply Com-pany in Fort Wayne, Indiana, a distributor of safety prod-ucts including — you guessed it — hard hats. “Thinking that Purdue is one of the major engineering schools with a building construction management depart-ment, I came up with the idea that Pete’s block hat should be replaced with a symbolic hard hat,” Neufer says. “One of my major suppliers furnished me with a gold hard hat embossed on the front with a black block P.” Neufer marketed his hard hats as spirit wear. They sold for $7.50 each at University Bookstore, Purdue con-cession stands, and fraternities. He gave hard hats to Purdue notables like President Arthur G. Hansen, WBAA announcer John DeCamp, Purdue Alumni Executive Direc-tor Joe Rudolph, Coach Gene Keady, and Athletic Director George King. In a 1979 thank-you letter to Neufer, President Hansen wrote of his hard hat, “I may even wear it at faculty meet-ings in times of stress! And it will be excellent cover if we have any rainy football Saturdays.” Then in 1982, Richard (Dick) P. Thornton, assistant ath-letic director for the John Purdue Club, was on a commit-tee to design a new fiberglass Purdue Pete mascot head, the sixth iteration of Pete’s mug since it began as a crude papier-mâché creation in 1963. Thornton and Neufer brain-stormed ideas about Pete’s new look, deciding that the orig-inal square cap would go by the wayside and a hard hat would be the new Pete topper. In a letter to Neufer, Thornton wrote, “Received the hard hats today, and we’re ready to design one for Pete.” Thornton also wrote Neufer about another idea, “We’re trying to animate Pete, and one idea is to have puffs of smoke come from his ears when called for. This is your area of expertise, so get the brain churning, please.” Thornton proposed that a small CO2 extinguisher be placed inside Pete’s head and piped to the ears. The student wearing the Pete head would activate the extinguisher, and white clouds would billow forth. “I did not pursue what Dick was talking about,” Neufer says. “It probably would have been sort of cute.” Perhaps one day another Boilermaker can engineer steam to emit from just under the brim of Neufer’s brain-—ANGIE KLINK (LA’81) child, Pete’s hard hat. BRAGGING RIGHTS Arezoo Ardekani, an as-sistant professor in the School of Mechanical Engineering, and Milind Kulkarni, an associ-ate professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, have been named as recipients of a Presi-dential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor given by the US government to young researchers. // BREAKTHROUGHS // DEBRIS; COURTESY OF KUHN AND ROSSMANN RESEARCH GROUPS Zika virus structure revealed A team led by Purdue researchers is the first to determine the structure of the Zika virus, which reveals insights critical to the development of effec-tive antiviral treatments and vaccines. The team also iden-tified regions within the Zika virus structure where it differs from other flaviviruses, the family of viruses to which Zika belongs that includes dengue, West Nile, yellow fever, Japanese enceph-alitis, and tick-borne encephalitic viruses. Any regions within the virus structure unique to Zika have the poten-tial to explain differ-ences in how a virus is transmitted and how it manifests as a disease, says Richard Kuhn, director of the Purdue Institute for Inflamma-tion, Immunology and Infectious Diseases who led the research team with Michael Rossmann, Purdue’s Hanley Dis-tinguished Professor of Biological Sciences. A REPRESENTATION OF the surface of the Zika virus. 14 PURDUE ALUMNUS

Tip Of The Hard Hat

A Tip of the (Hard) Hat

PURDUE PETE FLIPPED HIS LID. LITERALLY. IN 1983, PURDUE’S athletic mascot took off the boxy hat he had worn at a jaunty angle atop his raven hair for two decades and donned a new skimmer — a construction hard hat. Manly, yes. But what spawned Pete’s millinery makeover?

Edward L. Neufer (A’59) had a light bulb illuminate over his head — an idea for a new Pete hat. During the 1970s to 1980s, Neufer was on the board and executive committee of the Purdue Alumni Association, and in 1982, he was elected president. He owned Safety Equipment and Supply Company in Fort Wayne, Indiana, a distributor of safety products including — you guessed it — hard hats.

“Thinking that Purdue is one of the major engineering schools with a building construction management department, I came up with the idea that Pete’s block hat should be replaced with a symbolic hard hat,”

Neufer says. “One of my major suppliers furnished me with a gold hard hat embossed on the front with a black block P.” Neufer marketed his hard hats as spirit wear. They sold for $7.50 each at University Bookstore, Purdue concession stands, and fraternities. He gave hard hats to Purdue notables like President Arthur G. Hansen, WBAA announcer John DeCamp, Purdue Alumni Executive Director Joe Rudolph, Coach Gene Keady, and Athletic Director George King.

In a 1979 thank-you letter to Neufer, President Hansen wrote of his hard hat, “I may even wear it at faculty meetings in times of stress! And it will be excellent cover if we have any rainy football Saturdays.”

Then in 1982, Richard (Dick) P. Thornton, assistant athletic director for the John Purdue Club, was on a committee to design a new fiberglass Purdue Pete mascot head, the sixth iteration of Pete’s mug since it began as a crude papier-mâché creation in 1963. Thornton and Neufer brainstormed ideas about Pete’s new look, deciding that the original square cap would go by the wayside and a hard hat would be the new Pete topper.

In a letter to Neufer, Thornton wrote, “Received the hard hats today, and we’re ready to design one for Pete.”

Thornton also wrote Neufer about another idea, “We’re trying to animate Pete, and one idea is to have puffs of smoke come from his ears when called for. This is your area of expertise, so get the brain churning, please.”

Thornton proposed that a small CO2 extinguisher be placed inside Pete’s head and piped to the ears. The student wearing the Pete head would activate the extinguisher, and white clouds would billow forth. “I did not pursue what Dick was talking about,” Neufer says.

“It probably would have been sort of cute.”

Perhaps one day another Boilermaker can engineer steam to emit from just under the brim of Neufer’s brainchild, Pete’s hard hat.

—ANGIE KLINK (LA’81)

BRAGGING RIGHTS

Arezoo Ardekani, an assistant professor in the School of Mechanical Engineering, and Milind Kulkarni, an associate professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, have been named as recipients of a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor given by the US government to young researchers.

// BREAKTHROUGHS //

Zika virus structure revealed

A team led by Purdue researchers is the first to determine the structure of the Zika virus, which reveals insights critical to the development of effective antiviral treatments and vaccines.

The team also identified regions within the Zika virus structure where it differs from other flaviviruses, the family of viruses to which Zika belongs that includes dengue, West Nile, yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis, and tick-borne encephalitic viruses.

Any regions within the virus structure unique to Zika have the potential to explain differences in how a virus is transmitted and how it manifests as a disease, says Richard Kuhn, director of the Purdue Institute for Inflammation, Immunology and Infectious Diseases who led the research team with Michael Rossmann, Purdue’s Hanley Distinguished Professor of Biological Sciences.

Read the full article at http://digital.watkinsprinting.com/article/Tip+Of+The+Hard+Hat/2468450/299857/article.html.

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