Purdue football gets $2M donation
The Purdue football program received a $2 million gift from longtime supporter Carl Bimel.
A native of Portland, Ind., Bimel first attended Boilermaker football games with his family in 1928. He attended Purdue in the early 1940s and became one of the original 32 members of the John Purdue Club in 1950.
"I have loved Purdue University and Boilermaker Football for as long as I can remember," Bimel said. "In my lifetime, I have only had one wife and one football team. My intent with this gift is to do my part to help my team remain competitive in the Big Ten Conference and on the national level. I have full confidence in the leadership of the athletics department and the football program that the money will be used in areas identified within the Purdue Football ‘Next Step' initiative to have the greatest impact for my Boilermakers."
In recognition, Purdue plans to name its two outdoor football practice fields the Bimel Practice Complex.
"Carl is one of the icons of Purdue Athletics: passionate, optimistic and always ready to help," athletics director Morgan Burke said. "We are grateful for his decades of support and for this most generous gift."
Prior to the NCAA booster recruiting prohibition legislation enacted in the early 1980s, Bimel was well known to take his support of the Boilermakers above and beyond the call of duty as part of a vast alumni network that assisted the football staff in evaluating and developing relationships with prospects and their parents, including team captains Perry Williams (1968) and Tom Luken (1971). He is particularly proud that five of his recruits were selected team captain by their senior year at Purdue.
"Carl is an encyclopedia on Purdue football," Burke said. "If you haven't listened to him recount 80 years of Purdue football history, you're missing something. Carl and his beloved wife, Alice, who has since passed away, were attendees at nearly every home football game. Carl believes that the ‘Cradle of Quarterbacks' can be traced back to Noble Kizer, and he makes a compelling case to support that point. Many Boilermakers have gotten to know Carl and his sense of love for and pride in Purdue through the years."
Bimel endowed a football scholarship in 2004 as part of the Groben Society and was a contributor to the Mackey Complex project.
In 2010, Bimel received the Diamond P Award from the John Purdue Club for service and commitment to Purdue Athletics.
Currently a resident of Cincinnati, Bimel retired in 2004 after a nearly 45-year career as a business owner and consultant. He served as president and CEO of Baker Concrete Construction in Monroe, Ohio.