Inside INdiana Business

Professor leaves $700K gift for Purdue Northwest

(photo courtesy of Purdue University Northwest)

HAMMOND, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — A Purdue University Northwest chemistry professor who passed away earlier this year has left the university a more than $700,000 estate gift. The university says the gift from Maria Longas will be used to fund student scholarships.

The university says Longas committed to supporting the school through her estate plans while still a full-time professor in 2017. However, she had requested the gift remain anonymous until after her death.

“Dr. Longas wanted to leave a legacy for Purdue Northwest students,” Jamie Manahan, executive director for development and major gifts officer for PNW, said in a news release. “She cared deeply about our students and wanted to give them more opportunities to succeed.”

Purdue Northwest has established the Dr. Maria O. Longas Scholarship, which will provide financial support to full-time students based on academic strength and financial need. The university says preference will be given to women.

Longas began her career at Purdue Northwest in 1987 as an assistance professor of chemistry and was promoted to associate professor in 1990. She retired from PNW in 2019.

“I am not surprised by her generous gift,” said Kathryn Rowberg, associate professor of chemistry and former colleague of Longas. “She cared about the students she taught and her gift shows she cared about the students she won’t teach. Helping the next generation of students to achieve their goals and do great things in the world – this is her legacy.”


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