Purdue University, located in West Lafayette, Indiana, U.S., 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.
Purdue offers both undergraduate and graduate programs in over 200 major areas of study. The university has been highly influential in America's history of aviation, and Purdue's aviation technology and aeronautical engineering programs remain among the highest rated and most competitive in the nation. Purdue established the first college credit offered in flight training, the first four-year bachelor's degree in aviation, and the first university airport (Purdue University Airport). In the mid-20th century, Purdue's aviation program expanded to encompass advanced spaceflight technology giving rise to Purdue's nickname, Cradle of Astronauts. Twenty-two Purdue graduates have gone on to become astronauts, including Gus Grissom (one of the original Mercury 7 astronauts), Neil Armstrong (the first person to walk on the moon), and Eugene Cernan (the last person to walk on the moon).